More athletes seeking aid from foundation funding
By UNUS ALLADIN
THE Sports Development Board (SDB) received 111 applications submitted by 23 national associations for this year's Sports Aid Foundation Fund - 10 more than last year.
A total of 78 applications from the elite group have been received while 33 applications have been received from the potential/junior group, introduced for the first time to the grant system.
The Hongkong Badminton Association and the Hongkong Wushu Union have made the largest application with eight names each followed by the Hongkong Table Tennis Association with seven.
Last year, 36 elite athletes were awarded $55,000 and another 16 athletes received $22,000 as members of a ''small teams'' group from a pool of $2.33 million.
Successful applicants for the two groups will be granted a maximum of $80,000 - an increase of $25,000 - for the elite group and $20,000 for the potential/junior group and all will be announced in early April.
The Foundation was set up in 1987 to provide the territory's leading athletes with financial assistance to defray training fees, competition expenses and loss of earnings during competition.
Applicants who are seeking financial assistance fall into two groups.
In the elite group, the applicants should have a high world or Asian ranking while in the potential/junior group, applicants should have the potential to achieve elite status or be ranked in the top tier of a recognised world junior championship.
All applications will be considered by the SDB's Sports Aid Foundation Fund and Sports Aid for the Disabled Fund Committee which is chaired by Victor Hui (SDB board member) and supported by five members, Betty Mair (SDB board), Anthony Chan (Recreation and Culture Branch), Frank Fu (ASF & OC), Paul Brettell (Hongkong Sports Institute chief executive) and Howard Wells (SDB executive director).
Meanwhile, two sports associations have indicated that they will move to new premises at Sports House, which is part of the Royal Hongkong Jockey Club's redevelopment of the Hongkong Stadium.
The Roller Skating Association and the Hongkong Amateur Fencing Association said they have agreed to move when the premises are completed by the end of March next year.
Questionnaire forms were sent out to the 60 sports associations affiliated to the territory's governing body, the Amateur Sports Federation & Olympic Committee, and 27 sports associations have responded by handing in forms at last night's meeting.
The SDB have informed all sports associations that they wish to know the number of sports bodies willing to move to the new premises by February 26.
The new premises at So Kon Po can accommodate more than 42 sports associations and the 24 sports associations currently housed at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium have the option of moving to the bigger premises.