HK 'needs quality facility'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2005, 12:00am

Hong Kong needs a quality training facility if its athletes are to do well at the highest level in the coming few years, says Hong Kong coach Rene Appel.

Appel, who led the team to fourth place in the women's mistral and a seventh in the men's at the 10th National Games, said yesterday many major international events would be held in Asia in the coming few years where light wind conditions generally prevailed.

'From the experience of the just concluded National Games, the Chinese board sailors are doing very well in light wind conditions because they have a strong physical fitness level. They will certainly pose us a lot of difficulties and other competitors in these major events,' he said.

These events are the World Championships 2006, Olympic Games 2008, Asian Games 2010 and East Asian Games 2009, if host Hong Kong decides to include it as a medal sport which is logical considering the city's performance on the international stage.

'However, fitness levels can only be improved by a high-volume training programme, with at least three training sessions a day.

'At the moment we cannot do this in Hong Kong because of our training centre in Stanley is worn out and the athletes have to spend a lot of time travelling from Stanley to the Sports Institute in Sha Tin.

'We desperately need a good training centre, or we will find it very difficult to compete with the best in these major events,' said Appel.