Juniors' funding to be slashed
HONG KONG Judo will have only around $30,000 to finance the territory's junior national squad over the next 12 months after the Sports Development Board slashed 70 per cent of its annual block grant.
Senior officials from the Hong Kong Judo Association will meet with SDB management today in the hope of extracting more money from the statutory body for their junior national squad.
The HKJA was yesterday unwilling to speculate on the reasons for the large decrease in funding, but said it would severely restrict the development of Hong Kong's 20-strong junior squad.
SDB officials were unavailable for comment yesterday.
Alex Wong Chi-yu, sports executive for the HKJA, would not say how much the SDB's package for the 1996/97 season was worth, but revealed that only $30,000 would be available for the junior team.
'We have around 20 players at the junior national level and that's where it will affect us most,' said Wong yesterday.
'We will be meeting with the SDB top management tomorrow and hopefully we can come to an arrangement.
'It is hoped that the SDB will grant us funds when we need it on a case-by-case basis.' Judo has had a torrid time in the past few years. Nearly 10 years ago, a rival body emerged from members unhappy with the association's management.
Also in recent years, the association has had to endure court battles to defend their legitimacy as a ruling body.
But they have also managed to have a degree of success in international competition. Their latest success was Mo Ching-hui's bronze medal at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima.
However, judo fortunes appear to be dwindling with no Hong Kong player being able to qualify for this July's Olympic Games in Atlanta.