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Old November 24th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #1
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HONG KONG | 2019 Asian Games Bid

Games springboard for bid to host 2019 Asiad
The Standard
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hong Kong's successful staging of the East Asian Games will serve as the perfect springboard for another shot at hosting the Asiad, says Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing.

The city lost out to Doha in the bidding for the 2006 Asian Games but Tsang said the experience of running next month's East Asian Games will go a long way when Hong Kong takes another crack at hosting the 2019 Asian Games.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Games media center yesterday, Tsang said the event, which will opens in 12 days, "is just a beginning, not an end" for the city.

Once the construction of a sports complex in the Kai Tak development is completed, the infrastructure will no longer be a problem for the hosting of bigger multi-sport events like the Asiad, Tsang said.

He added that organizing major sports events reflects the integrated power of a city and promotes the development of sports in Hong Kong in the long term.

Tsang said Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong president Timothy Fok Tsun-ting has reacted positively to a possible bid for the 2019 Asiad.

The bid to host the Asiad has to be made by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee while the government will provide support.

Tsang said the coming Games will give Hong Kong the opportunity to prove that it is capable of hosting a major sports event and urged the public to turn up and support the showpiece.

"Support from the public will be the most critical factor," he said.

In 2000, Hong Kong had figured in a four-way battle with Doha, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi for the hosting rights of the 2006 Asian Games, with Kuala Lumpur viewed as the early favorite.

In the second round of voting, Qatari capital Doha - backed by support from West Asian countries - won with 22 votes, with Hong Kong getting six and Kuala Lumpur 13.

Doha's victory was considered a major upset, with Malaysian officials condemning the selection process as "ridiculous," alleging that it was influenced by Qatar's economic might.

Victoria Harbour will be the stage for a spectacular Games opening on December 5.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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LCQ17: Bidding for the 2019 Asian Games
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, in the Legislative Council today (November 25):

Question:

In 2000, the Government supported the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China in bidding for hosting the 2006 Asian Games, but the bid ended in failure. In response to a recent proposal by some members of the community for Hong Kong to consider making a bid to host the 2019 Asian Games, the Government has indicated its support and its willingness to provide assistance. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that the 2010 Asian Games will be held in Guangzhou, and the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, whether the Government has assessed the probability of the 2019 Asian Games continuing to be held in the East Asian region, and whether Hong Kong still stands a good chance to succeed in its bid to host the Asian Games;

(b) whether the Government will consider adopting more measures to enhance the degree of participation of members of the public so as to ensure that the degree of participation in sports by members of the public in various forms are high enough to support Hong Kong's bid for hosting the Asian Games; if it will, of the details; and

(c) whether it will allocate additional resources to assist in the development of a wider variety of sports in Hong Kong, and include more sports that are promising and well received by Hong Kong people in the category of elite sports, with a view to improving the standard of Hong Kong athletes and attracting more participation of members of the public so that Hong Kong will be in a more advantageous position in future to bid for hosting large-scale sports events such as the Asian Games; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows -

(a) The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) requires that any bid to host the Asian Games (AG) should be submitted by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the relevant member state or territory and that the award of the right to host the games should be decided by a ballot of all Member NOCs at its Annual General Assembly. In selecting the host city of an AG, Member NOCs will consider the capacity and experience of the bidding cities with regard to hosting multi-sports events. Relevant considerations include the standard of the competition venues and the athletes' village for participating teams, as well as factors such as the local climate, transport facilities, and the law and order situation. If the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China considers that Hong Kong has the capacity to host the 2019 AG and makes a formal request to the SAR Government to support a bid to the OCA, the SAR Government will carefully consider such a request and assess all relevant factors, including the strengths of other states or territories which may also bid to host the 2019 AG.

(b) To achieve its policy objective of providing "Sport for All", the SAR Government has in place various programmes to encourage the public to participate in sports. Specifically, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) provides sports venues and training programmes for the public. It also administers the Sports Subvention Scheme, which provides subventions to National Sports Associations (NSAs) and other sports organisations for the promotion of sport in schools and in the community. The SAR Government also seeks to nurture more major sports events locally through the "M" Mark System, thereby giving the public more opportunities to enjoy high quality sports events in Hong Kong. If Hong Kong decides to bid for the 2019 AG, the support of the general public will be crucial. The Government will implement suitable measures to encourage the public to participate in sport and to support Hong Kong's bid for the AG. The detailed measures will be carefully considered having regard to the requirements at the time.

(c) Under the current policy framework for sports development, the NSAs play a leading role in setting the direction for the development of their respective sports whilst the Government plays a supporting role by providing funding and venues, and by implementing other relevant measures. Through the Sports Subvention Scheme administered by the LCSD, the NSAs receive subventions for organising sports promotional activities and for other operational needs. The annual subvention provided by the Government to the NSAs under the Scheme has increased in recent years. The subvention in 2009-10 is close to $180 million.
As regards support for elite sports, the aim is to focus resources on sports with good potential or strong track records, or on individual athletes who have performed particularly well, with a view to raising Hong Kong athletes' chances of winning medals in international competitions. The Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) is responsible for supporting elite sports and the development of athletes in Hong Kong. From 2005 onwards, the Sports Commission has adopted a set of criteria for the selection of sports for HKSI support. Under this selection mechanism, billiard sports, athletics and karatedo have recently been selected as elite sports and, together with another 11 sports, will receive elite sports subvention for a four-year cycle starting from 2009. Furthermore, the Commission has recently selected judo as an "up-and-coming" sport, which will receive additional subvention starting from 2009. Under the selection mechanism, other sports can also become elite sports and receive additional subvention if they reach the standards specified in the criteria.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 04:38 AM   #3
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Sport community caught by surprise on Asian Games talk
25 November 2009
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong sporting community is in an expansive mood these days. With the 5th East Asian Games just around the corner, eyes already are turning toward a bigger event, the 2019 Asian Games.

However, Monday's declaration by the president of the city's Olympic Committee, Fok Tsun-ting, that Hong Kong was considering a bid to host the Asian games has taken much of the sporting community by surprise.

Some are expressing doubts about the feasibility of the 2019 endeavor.

Deputy Secretary General of the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong Leung Mee Lee said the proposition made by Fok to bid on 2019 Asian Games has never even been discussed by the Hong Kong Olympic Committee.

"The committee never held meetings to talk about the 2019 Asian Games. Fok's proposition only reflected his own opinion. The Secretary General of the Committee may have heard about it before, but the rest of us did not know about it at all," said Leung.

Leung said a decision to bid on the 2019 Games rests on support from the inner Olympic Committee, as well as consensus in society as a whole. Leung said it's still very early to contemplate hosting the games since no specific proposals have even been discussed.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing supported the notion of consensus Monday, saying the support of Hong Kong's citizens is vital to sustain any Asian Games bid. Tsang added the success of the forthcoming EAG would bring Hong Kong the experience to mount a strong presentation for the 2019 games.

Tickets for the EAG are nearly 70 percent sold out. That's a record for the EAG.

"I heard the tickets of the opening ceremony had been sold out. But the truth is, tickets available for public purchase are rather limited," a man surnamed Ho said.

Louie H.T. Lobo, associate professor of the Department of Physical Education at the Baptist University, said he believed there is only a weak sports culture in the city, accounting for a low level of participation in sports among Hong Kong people.

"Physical education was kind of ignored in the colonial era, while the Hong Kong Sports Development Board wasn't established until 1990," he said.

Lobo, nevertheless, believes the government has already made efforts to promote the EAG and the whole sports culture. The current stadium and facilities are already good enough for a city with 7 million people, he said.

However, as for the Asian Games, Lobo was not optimistic.

The scales of the Asian Games and EAG are completely different. "Over 40 countries participate in the Asian Games while only 9 in the EAG," he said.

The Asian Games will require a much higher level of stadiums and facilities. Besides, it will also bring a bigger challenge to the collaboration among different bureaus and departments within the government, Lobo said.

"It is too early to say whether to go for the Asian Games," he said.

Albert Chan Wai-yip, a Legislative Council member, said it was too early to focus on games ten years away when the EAG has not even begun.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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Opinions divided on hosting 2019 Asian Games
14 December 2009
South China Morning Post

Following the "baptism of fire" of organising this year's East Asian Games, public opinion seems divided on whether Hong Kong should bid for the 2019 Asian Games.

Lawmaker Tanya Chan, a critic of the East Asian Games, said she remained unconvinced this should happen, although she understood athletes' desire to compete at home.

She said hosting the Asian Games in Hong Kong could be a long-term goal, but only after the government increased its capabilities in organising large-scale multi-sports events, and when sufficient sports venues built to international competition standards were available.

An all-round education system that gave sufficient attention to sports and physical education would be another prerequisite, she said.

The lawmaker was referring to the various logistical flaws that became obvious during the East Asian Games, such as the absence of ticket-sales booths at some competition venues and the low initial spectator attendances, as evidence of poor government planning and execution.

But Hong Kong Sports Institute chief executive Dr Trisha Leahy said she supported the idea of a Hong Kong bid for the Asian Games, as it was an aspiration cherished by many of the city's athletes and would be good for them.

Leahy said athletes received more support when competing at home, and tended to perform better.

Former Olympic cyclist Hung Chung-yam said hosting the Asian Games would help raise community awareness of sports and therefore help build a stronger sporting culture.

The inadequacies experienced during the East Asian Games would be a lesson for the government and sports associations, although the community should shoulder responsibility as well for some of the problems, he said.

"Many people criticised the low attendance at the events," he said. "Then why did they not go and cheer for our athletes and give them support?"

Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, president Timothy Fok Tsun-ting said he was willing to keep the options open.

"When the [2009] East Asian Games is successfully completed, we will conduct a review [of the various arrangements]," Fok said. "If the government supports [a bid to host the Asian Games], we will give it due consideration."
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Old December 15th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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Hong Kong eyes Asian Games in 10 years
14 December 2009
Agence France Presse

Hong Kong is keen to stage the Asian Games in 10 years' time, a top political official said Monday, after the city hosted its first international multi-sports event this month.

"Personally, I'm confident that Hong Kong has the ability to host the Asian Games in 2019," said Tsang Tak-sing, secretary for home affairs.

"You can see the benefits that it will bring to Hong Kong, but we have to listen to the people and we would have to devote a substantial amount of resources to it."

His remarks came after the East Asian Games wrapped up in Hong Kong on Sunday after 12 days of competition dominated by China.

Tsang said the East Asian Games, which featured nine teams and 22 sports, had been "a success in promoting the sporting culture in Hong Kong".

Before the Games opened there had been concern that they had failed to ignite the interest of the Hong Kong public, and preliminary events played out to half-full crowds.

However, major competitions such as athletics and swimming were sold out, albeit in small arenas, and nearly 40,000 people packed into Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday to see the hosts surprisingly take the football gold medal.

The win on penalties over Japan's under-20 team, who had been among the favourites to win the football, was "like having a dream", Hong Kong captain Au Yeung Yiu-chung said.

"The team still can't believe that we've won the gold medal," he added.

As in all previous four East Asian Games -- held every four years -- a strong China squad led by world-class hurdler Liu Xiang was the major force in most the events.

China finished with a gold medal haul of 113, followed by Japan with 62 and South Korea 39.

Hong Kong made the best of home advantage, winning 26 golds, their highest-ever tally at the Games, which take place next in the Chinese city of Tianjin in 2013.

The next Asian Games will be held from November 12-27 next year in Guangzhou, China and in 2014 in the South Korean port city of Incheon. However, it was decided to change the date of the following Games to be one year ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

Manila, Dubai and Taipei are reportedly among other potential bidders for the 2019 event.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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Hong Kong will be hard pressed to give sports fans a repeat showing of 2009 in...
1 January 2010
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong will be hard pressed to give sports fans a repeat showing of 2009 in the coming year. The city saw some spectacular moments as it hosted the East Asian Games - the best being when Chan Siu-ki (pictured) delivered in the soccer final against Japan. "The wonderful month of December is now over and everything is back to normal - routine training and matches," Chan says. "The only difference is more people recognise me on the streets after helping Hong Kong win a gold medal at the East Asian Games."

Some critics say that Hong Kong is not putting enough resources into sport, but the win united Hongkongers in pride. "The outstanding result has no doubt generated more interest in soccer in the community and I urge the authorities to take some real measures to help develop the sport, from grass roots to elite level," Chan says. "As a professional player, I will continue to do my job as a footballer for my club, South China and the Hong Kong team, hopefully winning more medals and international honour."

The enthusiasm the East Asian Games brought to the city has lifted the hopes of government and sports officials about the prospect of bringing the Asian Games here. The next Asian Games will be held in Guangzhou this year. It is believed that Manila, Dubai and Taipei are all interested in hosting the 2019 Asian Games.

Tsang Tak-sing, the secretary for home affairs, said recently that he was confident the city could stage a successful Asian Games in 10 years. He also said the new sports hub, which will include a stadium at the former Kai Tak airport site, would be ready by then. His sentiments were backed by our Olympic chief, Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, who thinks a 2019 bid is possible.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #7
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HK bid for 2019 unlikely, says Pang
7 January 2010
SCMP

A bid by Hong Kong to host the Asian Games is likely to be delayed for four years following strong opposition to a campaign to stage the 2019 event.

The city's successful first hosting of a multi-games event last month - the East Asian Games - has sparked support within the community to bid for the 2019 Asian Games.

However, Pang Chung, honorary secretary of the Hong Kong Olympic Committee, warned that it would not be easy to beat other bidding cities if they focused on 2019.

"As far as we know, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur are targeting the 2019 Games and both are in a better position than Hong Kong," Pang said.

"Delhi has the infrastructure ready for a major games as they will be hosting the Commonwealth Games later this year. More importantly, they lost the 2014 Asian Games to Incheon, in South Korea, and are eager to make up for it as they have the backing of a booming economy.

"Kuala Lumpur beat Hong Kong at the 2006 Games bid, although they lost to Doha in the end. The Malaysian capital is also equipped with good facilities as it hosted the 1998 Commonwealth Games."

Pang is also concerned about the next two Asian Games being held in East Asia - in Guangzhou and Incheon - and fears it will be difficult for the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and its national Olympic committees to back a city in the same region for the third time in a row.

"If we decide to bid, we must make sure we have a good winning chance and that's why we are also considering the 2023 Games as it can avoid the two strong favourites. Although we have no idea which city will bid for the 2023 Games, we at least have more time to prepare."

Pang also said they would carefully study the possibility of involving Macau and Shenzhen to share some of the events owing to the scale of the Asian Games. "We are from three separate entities within the OCA and if the two other cities are involved in our bid, it may affect the independency of three bodies," he said.

Last night the Legislative Council passed a motion to urge the government to further enhance the standard of local sports, including team competitions, and promote sports development, including actively considering bidding for the 2019 Games.

At an Olympic Committee council meeting on Tuesday, the 40 sports involved in the Asian Games all backed a bid for either the 2019 or 2023 editions.

Hong Kong must submit to the OCA an expression of interest for the 2019 bid by March 31, before they start the preparation work.

While the sports community is in favour of staging the Asian Games, Pang said they needed a strong commitment from the government to make it a successful bid.

"The scale of the Asian Games is far much bigger than the East Asian Games and the government must be fully committed to it, or it will become another failure after the 2006 Games bid," he said.

"We are talking about a multi-sport games for 45 countries or regions. The logistics, facilities, organisation, number of athletes - all are big challenges for the hosts. We cannot say that because Hong Kong hosted the East Asian Games, we can stage the Asian Games. The two games are on different levels."

The Guangzhou Asia Games are expected to feature more than 15,000 athletes from 42 sports - almost a third more than the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, which had only 28 sports. Although the OCA has decided to reduce the number of sports to 35 starting from 2019, the Asian Games are still considered the second largest multi-sports games in the world after the Olympics.

A spokesman of the Home Affairs Bureau said it would seriously study whatever bid was submitted by the Olympic Committee. "We have not received any information on their council meeting, but will consider the bid if they propose it to the government," she said.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said at the end of the East Asian Games he believed Hong Kong could stage a successful Asian Games within 10 years.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #8
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HONG KONG | Sports Facilities Developments

HK$600m velodrome offers HK chance to host World Cup event
27 January 2010
SCMP

Hong Kong aims to host a World Cup Classic at the planned HK$600 million, state-of-the-art velodrome in Tseung Kwan O.

The city's first international-standard velodrome should open in 2013, Hong Kong Cycling Association deputy general secretary Wong Yiu-wah said.

Interest in the sport was boosted by the success of Hong Kong's young guns at the weekend. Kwok Ho-ting and Choi Ki-ho won the gold medal in the men's Madison at the World Cup Classic in Beijing, while Lee Wai-sze clinched bronze in the women's keirin. Kwok also won silver in the points race.

"The Tseung Kwan O venue may not be the best in the world but will certainly be one of the best in the region," Wong said. "Our plans will be to bid for top international events when this new venue is ready, not only the World Cup but also the world championships."

The Legislative Council last week approved a budget of HK$1.2 billion for the construction of a Town Park in Tseung Kwan O that would include the velodrome, located next to the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, the main athletics venue for last month's East Asian Games.

Subject to the formality of final approval by Legco's finance committee in six weeks, construction could start as early as March.

The velodrome would be equipped with a 250-metre wooden track and facilities meeting international standards, including a grandstand with 2,000 permanent seats and 1,000 portable seats. Other features will include fitness and weight-lifting rooms.

Wong said a series of successes on the international stage fully justified the need for such a venue despite its high construction cost. In 2007, Wong Kam-po (pictured) became the first Chinese cyclist to win a gold medal at the world championships in the men's scratch race in Mallorca, Spain. Hong Kong's most successful cyclist also won gold in the points race at the World Cup Classic in Copenhagen last year and has qualified for the past three Olympic Games.

Kwok was the champion in the scratch race at the World Cup Classic in Melbourne in 2008.

In the women's competition, Wong Wan-yiu won a World Cup Classic in the points race in 2008, prior to the Beijing Olympics.

"We have identified and developed many home-grown talents with only an outdated facility at the Sports Institute, and I am sure the development of track cycling will be lifted to another level once we can have our own venue," Wong Yiu-wah said.

Both Kwok and Choi, together with many other promising riders such as Cheung King-lok and Yuen Chi-ho, trained at the 350-metre cement surface outdoor velodrome in Sha Tin before they were promoted to the senior squad. But since there is no suitable track venue in Hong Kong, the senior squad have to train across the border in Longguang, Shenzhen and other mainland cities.

"We can minimise a lot of travelling hazards with a dedicated home facility and the venue can also attract more potential riders to join our development programmes," Wong Yiu-wah said.

The outdoor venue in Sha Tin was demolished this month to make way for a nine-storey facility as part of the institute's HK$1.7 billion redevelopment project. A temporary facility is under construction in Ma On Shan and will not open until April, forcing the Cycling Association to halt its youth training programmes and promotion activities.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #9
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LegCo to Debate Establishing a Comprehensive Consumer Protection Regime
Monday, January 4, 2010
Government Press Release

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

The Legislative Council will hold a meeting this Wednesday (January 6) at 11am in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building. During the meeting, Members will debate a motion on establishing a comprehensive consumer protection regime.

The motion, to be moved by Hon Starry Lee, states: " That, incidents of traders using misleading, deceptive, high-pressure, intimidating, harassing or other unfair means to market products or services are common in recent years, undermining the interests of consumers, and many people consider that consumer protection in Hong Kong is inadequate; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to establish a comprehensive consumer protection regime, including:

(a) to require a cooling-off period be provided for agreements involving membership, package tickets and other pre-paid services to allow consumers to terminate such agreements within a specified period after signing an agreement to purchase the relevant goods or services without having to pay any fees or charges;

(b) to require traders to issue in writing the terms and conditions within a specified period for any service agreement reached verbally through on-street promotion or over the telephone, and that the agreement will only be effective upon a signed confirmation by the consumer;

(c) to monitor effectively the services provided by telecommunications service operators and those services provided by a third party through such operators, such as mobile messages and content services, etc. so as to ensure that the marketing practices, terms and conditions of services and charges are transparent and fair;

(d) to extend the scope of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance to include person-to-person commercial telemarketing calls, and require the caller to stop all marketing activities immediately upon a roaming signal coming from the telephone of the receiver;

(e) to introduce legislative amendments to enhance the regulation of multi-level marketing;

(f) to empower the Consumer Council to act as the proctor for consumers whose interests are undermined to initiate court proceedings to seek compensation from unscrupulous traders when required; and

(g) to formulate a comprehensive Consumer Interests Protection Ordinance to plug the loopholes arising from the existing fragmented and discordant legislation, and to fully regulate unfair trade practices involving goods and services; and at the same time, in order to tie in with the implementation of the Consumer Interests Protection Ordinance, to confer administrative and law enforcement powers under the Ordinance to the Consumer Council, or establish the post of consumer protection commissioner to undertake the relevant administrative and law enforcement work."

Hon Wong Kwok-hing, Dr Hon Samson Tam, Hon Fred Li and Hon Vincent Fang will move separate amendments to Hon Starry Lee's motion.

Members will also debate a motion on promoting the sports development in Hong Kong. The motion, to be moved by Hon Ip Kwok-him, states: "That the East Asian Games has been successfully completed, and with the support of the community as well as the strenuous effort of the athletes, Hong Kong players have achieved outstanding performance and won high praise; in order to further enhance the standard of local sports and promote the sports development in Hong Kong, this Council urges the Government to:

(a) review the existing scoring mechanism for the elite training programmes, and actively consider including team sports with development potentials in such programmes;

(b) encourage the Hong Kong Jockey Club to put in more resources to support the development of local football;

(c) examine the effectiveness of the various existing funding schemes, and increase the funding amounts according to actual needs;

(d) improve the hardware facilities for various sports activities and expeditiously carry out the multi-purpose stadium complex project in the Kai Tak Development Area, so as to provide better support for sports development;

(e) formulate a specific policy to improve the treatment of athletes and their career development after retirement;

(f) draw reference from the Mainland and overseas experience to encourage the business sector to take part in the funding of sports;

(g) step up effort in motivating schools, the general public and enterprises to attach importance to sports, promote sports for all, and create a competition atmosphere among district sports teams, so as to increase public participation and community cohesion;

(h) strengthen collaboration and exchanges with the Mainland to enhance the standard of local sports; and

(i) actively consider bidding to host the 18th Asian Games in 2019."


Hon Lee Wing-tat, Hon Tanya Chan, Dr Hon Lam Tai-fai and Hon Paul Chan and will move separate amendments to Hon Ip Kwok-him's motion.

Hon Miriam Lau will move a motion under the Rule 49E(2) of the Rules of Procedure to take note of the Report No. 2/09-10 of the House Committee laid on the table of the Council on January 6, 2010 in relation to the Dumping at Sea (Exemption) (Amendment) Order 2009.

Meanwhile, the Secretary for the Environment will move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to amend the Energy Efficiency (Labelling of Products) Ordinance (Amendment of Schedules) Order 2009, which laid on the table of the Council on November 4, 2009.

On bills, Members will resume Second Reading on the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2009. If the bill is supported by Members and receives its Second Reading, it will then go through the Committee Stage and be read the third time.

During the meeting, Members will ask the Government 20 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies. The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the Legislative Council InfoFax Service (Tel: 2869 9568) or the Legislative Council web site (www.legco.gov.hk).

Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Legislative Council Chamber. They may reserve seats by calling 2869 9399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Members of the public can also listen to the meeting via the audio webcast system on the Legislative Council homepage.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 05:40 AM   #10
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What does this have to do with an urban development. Nothing is happening yet and you even posted news articles that say it's unlikely hongkong is going to get the olympic games.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 05:45 AM   #11
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I am waiting for more information to emerge on this bid but I've created a general Sports Facilities development thread and may combine this with it. There should be a number of construction projects for new facilities with or without the bid.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 08:07 AM   #12
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I hope the Populous Sports Facilities Group designs the new Kai Tak Multipurpose Stadium. The group, when they were named HOK Sport, designed the old Hong Kong Stadium, which is going to be demolished for more residential units. I f this architectural firm designs an old stadium which is tobe torn down, they should design the new stadium, also.
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I honestly think all development projects must be sustainable and futureproof.

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Old February 5th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #13
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so you want me to merge the threads?
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Old February 5th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ni3lS View Post
so you want me to merge the threads?
Yes, please. If something turns up for the bid, I'll separate the two again.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #15
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Government supports SF&OC's "letter of intent" to host 2023 Asian Games
Friday, June 25, 2010
Government Press Release

The SAR Government has decided to support the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) to submit a "letter of intent" to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to bid to host the 2023 Asian Games, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, said today (June 25).

"The successful hosting of a large-scale international sports event such as the Asian Games will bring about significant benefits to Hong Kong," Mr Tsang said.

"The Government is committed to promoting the development of sports in Hong Kong. We believe that the hosting of the Asian Games would help encourage high levels of sports performance; promote wider public interest and participation in sports, as well as raise the morale of the community," he added.

Mr Tsang said the decision to support the SF&OC was made with the backing of the sports sector. Both the SF&OC membership and the Sports Commission have expressed support for a potential bid.

Besides, on January 6, 2010, the Legislative Council passed a motion on sports development that included a request for the Government to actively consider supporting a bid to host the Asian Games.

The OCA has set the deadlines of June 30, 2010, for the submission of a"letter of intent" and the end of 2010 for the submission of a formal bid to host the 2019 or 2023 Asian Games. The submission of a "letter of intent" does not amount to a formal bid.

"Notwithstanding the considerable benefits that the Asian Games would bring, given the scale of the event and the likely implications for our public finances, the support of the community is essential if Hong Kong is to formally bid for the right to host the Games by the end of this year," Mr Tsang stressed.

"Before deciding whether or not the Government should support a formal bid, a public consultation exercise will be conducted to gauge the views of the public," he said, adding that the final decision would be subject to the outcome of the consultation exercise and acceptance of the likely financial implications involved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council.

The Government will set up a Provisional Bid Committee with representation from the sports sector, business and community organisations and relevant government agencies as well as a Bid Team to take forward the detailed planning.

The relevant preparatory work includes a review of the OCA requirements as set out in the bid documents in respect of issues such as venue availability, accommodation for athletes and officials, and a detailed assessment of how Hong Kong can meet these requirements.

Estimates of the likely operational cost of running the Games, the capital costs to be incurred in providing suitable sports facilities and the cost of accommodating delegations in a purpose-built athletes’ village will be prepared.

An assessment of the potential economic costs and benefits of hosting the Asian Games will also be made. The consultation exercise will be launched upon completion of the relevant preparatory work.

Noting that the OCA is inviting bids to host the Asian Games in 2019 or 2023, Mr Tsang said the Government's assessment was that it would be more advisable to bid for the Games in 2023.

"There are clear advantages in hosting the Asian Games in 2023," he said.

"This would give us more time to develop good quality venues that would meet the needs of sports development in Hong Kong and that would also be suitable for hosting Asian Games events.

"The building programme for the Asian Games would not overlap with the major infrastructure projects as many of them are expected to be substantially completed before 2023. It would also allow us to showcase a suite of new infrastructure projects to the rest of the world.

"In addition, the development of athletes from junior to internationally competitive level is typically a 10-year undertaking. The redevelopment of the Hong Kong Sports Institute into a world class elite sports training centre is due to be completed in 2013. By hosting the Asian Games in 2023, we could set a clear goal for the training of athletes to a level whereby we could expect to achieve good results at the Games," Mr Tsang explained.

The Chief Executive-in-Council has approved the issue of a letter of support by the Government for the SF&OC to submit a "letter of intent"” to bid to host the 2023 Asian Games, and the setting up of a Provisional Bid Committee and a Bid Team.

The Asian Games is held every four years. The OCA requires that any bid to host the Asian Games should be submitted by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the relevant member state or territory, together with a letter of support from the government concerned. As the NOC for Hong Kong, China, the SF&OC would be the bidding organisation for Hong Kong.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 08:28 AM   #16
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:31 AM   #17
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Opinion : Asian Games would waste land and funds
20 August 2010
South China Morning Post

I was disappointed to learn that the government was going to bid for the 2023 Asian Games.

The cost estimates for Hong Kong hosting this grand sporting tournament "are between HK$10 billion and HK$50 billion" ("HK starts ball rolling on 2023 bid", August 3).

Presumably, officials hope that this bid will have a unifying effect on society. I hope the relevant parties abandon their attempt and use this huge budget for measures that bring more tangible benefits to Hong Kong.

If the bid was successful, a lot of purpose-built stadiums would be erected on scarce land in what is already an overcrowded city. There is already a great demand for residential land. Therefore, it does not make sense to give priority to the Asian Games.

Some of the venues will be single-use facilities and this is a waste of taxpayers' money.

Instead, money should be spent on campaigns encouraging Hongkongers to take regular exercise.

If more people get involved in some form of exercise, this will lower their risk of contracting, for example, heart disease. A healthier population can lower health care costs faced by society and the families of patients.

Also, instead of bidding for the Games, money could be spent helping people living below the breadline, who would like to exercise, but cannot even afford a pair of running shoes.

Money also could be spent helping to develop sporting talent. It is important to identify young people who display ability at an early age so they can reach their full potential. Having more young Hongkongers winning medals in top sporting events will bring more honour to the city than hosting the Asian Games in 2023.

Siu Leung-wing, Shau Kei Wan
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Old October 5th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #18
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Time to enhance access to sporting facilities
20 September 2010
South China Morning Post

For sports fans, the past few years have provided an unexpected number of memorable events. In addition to the annual Rugby Sevens tournament, Hong Kong staged a leg of rugby's Bledisloe Cup between Australia and New Zealand. The Hong Kong soccer teams have had unexpected success, resulting in record crowds. Chinese Olympians have exhibited their skills here, and it was good to see all our sporting facilities being used for actual sport, and not as entertainment venues, during the East Asian Games. The government must now decide how best to capitalise on that interest to benefit the community. The obvious first step would be to enhance access to sporting facilities for the ordinary sports enthusiast.

Instead, earlier this month, the government announced the composition of the Asian Games Provisional Bid Committee to assess how Hong Kong might bid for the 2023 Games. We all love sport, but one hopes this does not become an opportunity for another vanity project, given the government's talent for seeing construction of infrastructure as the answer to anything ranging from congestion to unemployment.

Government-friendly lawmakers argue the bid will further local sports development, but it is difficult to see the logic behind this. Whether the Asian Games is held here or not, local athletes will have a chance to compete in them. It would be absurd to suggest Chinese athletes are less motivated to perform when the event is outside of China. It is even more difficult to see how the ordinary sports enthusiast can benefit. Despite all the recent spectacles, it is still just as hard, if not more difficult, to book a public sporting facility.

The value in sport is more than revenue and the generation of jobs. Apart from the obvious health benefits, team sports develop team spirit and leadership skills, while individual sports develop self-discipline and mental toughness. Hong Kong can play host to any number of great sporting events, but if the facilities to play sport are still the privilege of those in luxury residential complexes and exclusive clubs, it will be hard to see how local sport has developed.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #19
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Old October 10th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #20
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Games bid extension wastes time and money
6 October 2010
South China Morning Post

Last week, it seemed like public sentiment - and common sense - had trumped vanity projects when the largest pro-establishment party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), appeared to be hesitant to support the HK$44 billion 2023 Asian Games bid, citing a lack of support from the public.

Big projects, of course, are nothing new in Hong Kong. The government has already committed HK$68 billion to an express rail project and over HK$20 billion on a cultural district. But it seems like public support for such huge infrastructure spending is waning in favour of public funds being spent more cost-effectively on policies that would benefit the ordinary Hongkonger. The public discontent over the Asian Games bid likely prompted the DAB to voice some opposition to the idea. With the pan-democratic parties having already expressed deep reservations against the idea the bid seemed doomed.

But the DAB, which is closely linked to government policies, stopped short of condemning the idea and suggested instead that the consultation period had not been set for long enough and that the plans were being rushed. Barely 12 hours later, the government stated it would extend the consultation period for another four weeks. The original six-week period was to end on November 3.

One might ask: why? Government consultations can justifiably be extended when circumstances change during the course of the original period, or when the public is genuinely divided, or requires more time to digest complex legal issues and economic ramifications. Issues such as the competition law, goods and services tax and the minimum wage, for example, are policies which have required many years of thought and analysis because of their complexity and rolling developments which affect calculations.

But in this case, the questions being asked of the public are quite simple. The consultation document itself consists only of 15 pages, at the end of which it asks three questions: "Do you think hosting the Asian Games will help our athletes to achieve higher standards of performance? Do you think hosting the Asian Games will be an important milestone in the development of sports in Hong Kong? Would it be in Hong Kong's overall interest in sport development, social and economic terms to host the Asian Games in 2023, having regard to the cost and other relevant considerations?"

Even in the government's own assessment to promote the idea, the purported benefits "cannot be quantified". If that is the case, then what are the new factors that the public has to consider which could cause their calculations to change what was a "no" into a "yes"? We are merely being asked on whether we think it is in Hong Kong's best interest to spend that money on hosting the Asian Games and it seems clear that most of us think not.

Will hosting the Asian Games promote greater awareness of sport, improve sporting facilities and generate some economic activity? Of course it will, but that doesn't mean we should commit billions of dollars into doing so when the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Rather than extend the consultation period, perhaps the government should use that time to think of how better to use that money to benefit the public.
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