SDB faces cash crunch if review panel extends list

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 February, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 February, 1999, 12:00am

The Sports Development Board (SDB) might be forced to draw deep into the Sports Institute's trust fund if it includes tenpin bowling and gymnastics in the final Focus Sports lineup.

The SDB on Thursday reinstated athletics as one of its 12 Focus Sports, with the review panel in the process of considering the cases for the two above-mentioned sports.

SDB chief executive Andrew Ma said the SDB had planned to include 12 Focus Sports but the list could be extended to 13 or even 14 sports pending a decision from the review panel.

'We have two more cases to go. I don't wish to speculate but if the panel decides to install tenpin bowling while reinstating gymnastics, we would need to draw deeper into the Sports Institute's trust fund,' he said.

The Sports Institute's trust fund amounts to approximately $30 million.

Ma said the SDB would have to do its best to fund the Focus Sports, stressing the Government's subvention to the SDB overall was not sufficient. He said the SDB was trying to supplement income with commercial operations such as carpark and food and beverage operations.

'Hopefully, the picture will be complete and a final decision will be made soon,' said Ma.

The SDB has admitted it was at fault in its initial assessment of athletics' suitability for elite Focus Sports status. The Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA) succeeded in having its sport reinstated on Thursday after the SDB admitted it failed to take marathon and middle-distance races into account in its initial assessment.