The Hon Kenneth Fok Kai-kong
Honorary University Fellow (2023)
When the Hong Kong, China team achieved phenomenal results at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, they brought the community together with a sense of celebration and lifted the spirits of the city during the prolonged pandemic. This power of sports to unite is “magic”, in the words of the Hon Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, who has been selflessly contributing to the development of the Hong Kong sports scene for over a decade, with a vision of bringing it forward with technological advancements for the betterment of Hong Kong.
The motivation behind his steadfast commitment can be largely attributed to his upbringing. The Fok family has made significant contributions to the development of sports in Hong Kong. Over the years, the Fok family has been an avid supporter of local sports development through the sponsorship of competitions and facilities. Thanks to their concerted efforts to promote the city’s sports development, Hong Kong has gained greater visibility and influence in the international sports scene. Most notably, his grandfather, the late Mr Henry Fok Ying-tung facilitated the nation’s return to the world sports arena and successful bid for hosting the Olympic Games.
In this sense, Mr Fok is carrying the torch for his family while attempting to inject new elements into the legacy to keep it afresh. He began his involvement in sports management in 2008, and served as the President of The Gymnastics Association of Hong Kong, China. Ever since, he has been an active and influential part of the ecosystem. He was appointed the Vice-Chairman of the Elite Sports Committee and an Ex-Officio Member of the Sports Commission of the HKSAR Government from 2017 to 2022, and is now serving the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China as its Vice-President.
Coincidentally, 2008 is the year when Beijing wowed the world as the Olympic Games host city. Not only did the magnificent Games serve as an opportunity for China to showcase its strength to the world, it also cemented the pride of the nation. Since then, in Mr Fok’s observation, the geo-political landscape worldwide has changed dramatically. Constraints in economic resources as well as local political pressure have also hindered the willingness of certain cities to physically host the Games. He believes that sports must embrace new ways in order to become more viable and accessible while staying true to its principle in enabling competition on a fair platform.
Mr Fok recognises the vast potential in integrating emerging technologies like extended reality and virtual reality with traditional sports. Since he became the President of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation in 2017, the only esports federation recognised by the Olympic Council of Asia, he has been working tirelessly towards the goal of esports being made as an Olympic sport. He also came to HKBU’s aid in 2021 when the University released a survey report on the development of esports in Hong Kong, which suggested ways for the city to further promote the sport. His efforts eventually bear fruit as esports made its debut as a medal event at the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023.
Mr Fok was a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference from 2018 to 2023. As a Hong Kong deputy to the 14th National People’s Congress and the Vice Chairman of the All-China Youth Federation, he has been advocating sports, culture and arts as the key pillars for the future growth in Hong Kong and the integration within the Greater Bay Area.
Among his sports-related public roles over the years, Mr Fok got the most satisfaction from leading the Hong Kong, China delegation to international meets as a chef de mission, such as the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. While it was a complex task, it was a truly rewarding experience as it was the best way for him to directly communicate with the athletes and understand their challenges.
In addition to sports administration, Mr Fok actively participates in community services, especially in youth development as well as the arts and culture sector. He is the Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and a board member of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. He has also served on the Youth Development Commission of the HKSAR Government from 2018 to 2023.
With his wealth of experience in community services and a wish to contribute further to society, Mr Fok took part in the hotly contested election campaign, and was successfully elected in 2021 as a member of the Legislative Council for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication functional constituency.
Mr Fok’s unrelenting efforts as a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, a member of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR and a sports administrator truly reflect his mottos in life: to have full commitment and willingness to listen and learn from others; and to be daring to try out new things and think outside the box. With these mottos in mind, young students could benefit from the experience of their seniors, and be empowered to apply their ingenuity to create new values that are suitable for the future needs of society.