Hong Kong Jockey Club – Charities and Community
Hong Kong Jockey Club – Charities and Community
Although Lucky 8 Racing is primarily a tipping service it would be irresponsible not to highlight the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s (HKJC) charities and community role and its significance to Hong Kong society.
The Club can trace its long tradition of donating to charitable causes back to at least 1915, but it was in the 1950s, as Hong Kong struggled to cope with post-war reconstruction and a massive influx of immigrants, that this role became integral to its operation. In 1955, the Club formally decided to devote its surplus each year to charity and community projects, and in 1959, a separate company, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities) Ltd, was formed to administer donations. In 1993, a new entity was established, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, to reflect the evolving nature, scale and scope of donations. The Club's Charities Trust is one of the world's top ten charity donors.
The Trust's substantial donations to the community are made possible by the Club's unique operational model which integrates racing, wagering, membership and philanthropy. The Club uses its surpluses generated by regulated betting to benefit Hong Kong people from all walks of life. Some 70% of the Club's net annual surpluses are donated to the Trust, enabling the Club to have played a significant role in the community's development over the years.
Working with Government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community partners, the Trust is committed to improving the quality of life of the people of Hong Kong, and providing immediate relief to those most in need. As a philanthropic organisation in its own right, the Trust also proactively identifies and initiates projects that anticipate future community and social needs.
The Trust serves 10 principal areas of civic and social needs in its contributions:
While the Trust continues to fund a wide range of projects, it is placing special emphasis on four areas of strategic focus over the next three to five years:
- Empowering youth for a hopeful future
- Building an age-friendly Hong Kong
- Promoting active participation and sportsmanship. Making sports fun and accessible to all
- Building a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, enriching lives and promoting social inclusion
With additional resources available as a result of the Club's improved business performance, the Club is now deepening its engagement with the community. In 2017/18 the Club’s Charities Trust approved a total of HK$4.2 billion in donations to 222 projects across ten areas of community need, with a focus on four strategic areas: youth; the elderly; sports; and arts, culture and heritage.
Tai Kwun - Centre for Heritage and Arts, which opened in May this year, is the largest heritage conservation and revitalisation project ever undertaken in Hong Kong, aiming to restore all 16 heritage buildings at the site. In addition, two new buildings, JC Contemporary and JC Cube, an art space and auditorium, respectively, were built.
Meanwhile, the Club maintains its long-standing support for a full range of community needs. For example, one of the Trust’s largest approved donations this year was HK$500 million to City University of Hong Kong for the establishment of the Jockey Club One Health Tower as an educational and research base for veterinary and life sciences.
This year the Club also celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships. Since their establishment in 1998, they have supported some 500 students, providing them not only with financial assistance but also helping to develop them as compassionate leaders of society.
Discussing the Club’s community contribution, Dr Ip reflected on the Club’s support for equestrian sports and in particular the HKJC Equestrian Team, which the Club established ten years ago to develop the potential of Hong Kong’s most talented riders. Members of the team have won medals for Hong Kong in both national and international competitions, including at this year’s Asian Games where Jacqueline Siu won gold in individual dressage. Hong Kong’s first gold medal of the games, it was also Hong Kong’s first-ever individual equestrian medal at the Asian Games.
Undoubtedly the Hong Kong Jockey Club is the world leader for horse racing but also plays a pivotal role in many other aspects of Hong Kong society. Their charity and community endeavours are something to be admired by all sporting and corporate institutions worldwide. Lucky 8 Racing acknowledges and respects the HKJC for its significant philanthropy in Hong Kong.
NB: Parts of this article have been reproduced courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.