April 28, 2008

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has entered into a Co-operation Agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Museum that will pave the way for the development of a Hong Kong Olympic Museum.

"We are determined to see that the Olympic legacy and Olympic spirit will live on in Hong Kong, long after Games time," Club Chairman John C C Chan said at the April 10 signing ceremony at the Club's new Beijing Clubhouse, which was officially opened on the same day. "We are therefore delighted to work with the IOC and Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (SF&OC) of Hong Kong, China on continuing promotion of the Olympic Ideal and sports in general throughout the region."

Both parties also signed a Contributor Agreement under which the Club will be supporting the Olympic Movement by making a donation to the IOC Museum.

"The Hong Kong Jockey Club is one of the oldest sports clubs in the world. It is also a distinguished organisation in supporting social programmes in Hong Kong," IOC President Jacques Rogge said at the ceremony. "The Club became a good partner to the Olympic Movement when it stepped in to support the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government with the offer to host the equestrian events of the 2008 Olympic Games. I have personally seen the facilities and they are the best ever. I am very pleased to see the Club expand its support by becoming a contributor and developing Hong Kong Olympic Museum," said.

Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Henry Tang said, "Ever since Hong Kong was entrusted with the important task of co-hosting the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian Events under three years ago, we have been mobilising our best resources in the Hong Kong community for the purpose. One of our valuable resources is The Hong Kong Jockey Club. The Club has already invested HK$1.2 billion in providing the best equestrian venues and facilities in Olympic history, and is setting new standards in Olympic equestrian sport."

The Co-operation Agreement signing ceremony with the International Olympic Committee, held at the newly-opened Beijing Hong Kong Jockey Club Clubhouse, was witnessed by a strong line-up of dignitaries including BOCOG Executive Vice-President and Secretary General Wang Wei; President of the SF&OC Timothy Fok, Standing Committee Member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chen Zuo'er and Deputy Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Zhou Bo.

In her congratulatory video message to the Club, President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein praised the Club for its commitment to excellence. "The Beijing 2008 Olympics have presented horse sport with the opportunity to work with outstanding organisations in the Beijing Olympic Committee and The Hong Kong Jockey Club to deliver a shared vision of providing an unequalled platform for equestrian competition."

The signing ceremony coincided with the grand opening of the Beijing Hong Kong Jockey Club Clubhouse, marking the Club's first physical presence in Beijing. "With an increasing number of our members visiting Beijing regularly for business or leisure, we wanted not only to build a clubhouse with world-class service, but also to provide them with a 'home away from home'," Mr Chan said.

The Beijing Clubhouse, located in the Wangfujing area in the heart of the capital, is built in a style that crosses over between the traditional courtyard structures of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and contemporary architecture concepts, making it a masterpiece of modern aesthetics. It is equipped with restaurants, bar and lounge, an advanced gymnasium and an executive business centre, as well as 90 luxurious guest rooms.