Policy 'needs more flexibility'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 January, 1999, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress (HKTBC) has become the second National Sports Association (NSA) to voice grievances over the controversial criteria to become a Focus Sport, arguing the system needed to be more flexible and objective to be truly fair.

HKTBC chairwoman Vivien Fung said she intends to appeal against the Sports Development Board's (SDB) decision not to give her association Focus Sport status - which offers technical and financial support over the next two years - even though she has spent almost 13 years trying.

Fung said her association failed by 1.75 points to get Focus status although she revealed that one of the reasons why the sport had failed was because it didn't have good venues and that the association did not have a centre for elite training.

But Fung queried as to how the sport could acquire a centre for elite training.

'We have been trying for the past 12 years to ask the Government to give us one [a centre],' she said. 'Certain NSAs are disadvantaged through circumstances that are beyond their control.

'These things should be taken into consideration. It is unfortunate that we don't have enough venues but how are we supposed to remedy this?' asked Fung.

'It is not our fault that we are being put at a disadvantage. If we are not a Focus Sport, how can we keep our coach [Purvis Granger]? 'There's always a big gap between the developing and Focus Sports because Focus Sports get the resources.

'I have been trying since Cat Che won gold in the Asian Games 13 years ago [1986]. And even though we won gold again in Bangkok [Sunny Hui Cheung-kwok won gold in the men's masters], we have still failed,' she said.

Fung said with Focus Sport status, they would be able to hire a full-time coach and hire more staff while developing their programme more vigorously.

Fung is also a member of the Sports Institute management committee that reviewed the cases of all 52 National Sports Associations.

'My capacity with the management committee was strictly that of an individual. When I am wearing the hat of chairman of the Tenpin Bowling Congress, I can appeal against the decision,' she said.

The Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association has also voiced complaints after failing to acquire Focus Sport status.