Chinese national teams highly commend PolyU's contribution to Beijing Olympics

Health experts of PolyU who have rendered their quality services to members of the China's national sports teams in preparation of the Beijing Olympics were thanked and praised.

As the 2008 Beijing Olympics drew to a fruitful close, many of China's national sports teams wrote to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) to express their appreciation for the contribution made by PolyU’s Beijing-based experts who helped them prepare for the Games over the past three years.

PolyU President Prof. Poon Chung-kwong was delighted to show a collection of thank-you messages from the Chinese sports authorities and Chinese Olympians, including a letter from Mr Yan Siduo, Director of the National Sports Training Centre (NSTC); appreciation notes from the Chinese badminton, tennis, track and field, and women's volleyball squads; and an Olympic flag autographed by all of the members of the gymnastics squad.

In his letter to Prof. Poon, Mr Yan highly commended the contribution of PolyU experts in providing quality sports health and sports vision services. In particular, he mentioned that the work of Dr Bob Chen, Assistant Professor of PolyU's Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (FHSS), was widely recognized and had “led to a revolutionary change in sports training and rehabilitation.” Dr Chen also played a key role in aiding badminton player Ms Zhang Ning, tennis player Ms Zheng Jie, artistic gymnast Mr Li Xiaopeng, and volleyball player Miss Zhao Ruirui recover from their injuries in time for the Olympics.

In extending a warm welcome for the return of Dr Bob Chen and other Beijing-based experts, Prof. Poon said: “The University is proud to have been selected as a strategic partner of the Chinese Olympic Committee. Our collaboration with the national sports authorities is a due recognition of PolyU's contribution in the area of sports health.”

He also thanked The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for promoting the further advancement of sports medicine, sports science and sports health in Hong Kong through its generous HK$88.72 million funding of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sports Medicine and Health Sciences Centre. Jointly established by PolyU and The Chinese University of Hong Kong in May, the Centre has provided timely assistance to PolyU's sports health and sports vision experts in their services to Chinese Olympic athletes.

Prof. George Woo, Dean of FHSS, said the University would not rest on its laurels. Looking ahead, he revealed that FHSS is exploring opportunities with the state sports bodies on how it could help China for the forthcoming 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Dr Bob Chen, who now heads the Faculty's new Unit in Sports Conditioning and Health, added that PolyU and NSTC would jointly examine the possibility of launching a unique, intensive course in sports-related training for retired Chinese athletes. The course would enable ex-athletes to make use of their valuable experience in sports and newly acquired professional knowledge and skills to advance the development of sports in China.

As early as 2005, PolyU has been actively helping China's national artistic gymnastics and tennis squads. In 2006, it further became a partner in research and technology development of the Chinese Olympic Committee, and in 2007 a long-term collaborative partner of NSTC. PolyU had been sending its experts from FHSS in a broad range of disciplines such as nursing, rehabilitation science and therapies, optometry, health technology, and sports therapy to help the athletes prepare for the Beijing Olympics.

In addition, PolyU was selected by Chinese state authorities as the world’s only university providing volunteers for the delivery of rehabilitation-related services for the Olympics. In the course of the Games, its Department of Rehabilitation Sciences sent forth over 60 volunteers comprising staff, students and alumni to provide professional services in sports therapy for international athletes in the host cities of Beijing, Qingdao and Hong Kong.

The new Hong Kong Jockey Club Sports Medicine and Health Sciences Centre offers clinical, training and research services in integrated sports medicine, sports science and sports health for elite athletes, sports-related industries, and the general public.