SIBU: Sarawak top athletes, who are students and have represented the state in athletic meets for at least two years, can now download the application forms for the Top Sport Star-Hii King Leng Scholarship Fund (TSS-HKLSF) awards from www.deltaleasing.org.
The TSS award, one of the categories under the HKLSF, was initiated by renowned sport enthusiast Dr Gregory Hii Sui Cheng, and named after his late father, Hii King Leng.
“Alternatively, they may get the form from the committee of HKLSF, c/o Delta Leasing Sdn Bhd at No 16, Lane 2, Tuanku Osman Road, P.O. Box 85, 96007, Sibu or call 084-333931,” said Dr Gregory Hii.
It is aimed at providing financial assistance to full-time students who excel in sports.
Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan recently launched the fund at a local hotel here.
Speaking at the launch, Hii said the fund, unlike scholarships for pure academic excellence, had a unique characteristic that was targeted to reward top Sarawak sporting stars registered as students in Sarawak schools.
“I believe this is the only one in Sarawak to do so and it reflects my own belief that sport is an important component of a wholesome education which helps to build character, discipline, determination and a healthy body, an essential ingredient for success in today’s increasingly competitive society,” he added.
In a way, Hii said the fund also helped the education department to achieve its dream of 1student1sport.
The launching grant of the fund was RM250,000 and it would be increased subsequently.
Hii said part of the fund was raised through the sale of four books which he had released over a span of 20 years.
“It represents a fulfilment which I have made earlier to utilise the proceeds to start the scholarship for students while remembering my late father who had sacrificed so much to raise or put enough food on the table for a brood of 13 of us, six boys and five girls.”
Hii said his father was a largely successful businessman and had mould him and his siblings into what they were today.
Later as they became wage earners, Hii said that lifted the burden of his father of raising them and his father went on to donate, in 1971, and on his 80th birthday, a sum of RM5,000 to three charitable organisations in Sibu.
“That sum did not sound big today. But when you know that you can buy a shop house in Lanang Road for RM15,000 in the early 1970s, you realised that he had donated an equivalent of one third of the shop house or in excess of RM200,000 at today’s parity to charity.”
Hii said they considered that a noble gesture as they continued to contribute a little bit every now and then to the less fortunate.
Under the TSS-HKL award, Hii said it comprise cash prize of RM600 and a specially minted medal would also be given to the successful recipients based on the decision by a committee entrusted with selecting the candidates.
He said there would be 20 top sport stars awards per year with each award carrying a cash grant of RM600.
To be eligible, the applicant must be an athlete who has represented Sarawak (at least once in two consecutive years prior to the year of the award) at national level like Sukma, and in the Commonwealth or Olympic Games.
A successful applicant will receive not more than two such annual awards, subjected to the minimum requirement of passing all subjects in the previous academic year with at least 50 per cent of the subjects with at least grade B and higher.
To qualify, his or her parents combined gross income should not be more than RM50,000 per annum and the athlete must remain active in sports.
Hii said any sporting personality who was registered as a student in any educational institution in Sarawak, irrespective of race and religion, could apply for the fund.
Hii said a successful applicant was also expected to be of good character who upheld honesty and integrity and possessed a strong desire to succeed.
“A referral from the school principal is also necessary.”
A HKL scholarship management board to be headed by Hii would be set up to manage the fund and the members of the committee to be appointed by the chairman on an ad hoc basis.
The management committee shall rely on incomes (interest and others) derived from this fund for the awards.
“Overall, the total award per annum will work out to be RM12,000 and in 20 years, it will add up to a sum of RM240,000.
“When there are more than 20 applicants, the committee will select the 20 top sport stars for considerations.”
The Borneo Post Online