Sailors to enjoy HK$11m training facility at Stanley

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2007, 12:00am

Repeated pleas for a training base have finally been answered as the sport will have an HK$11 million facility in Stanley.

But the breakthrough came only after the Windsurfing Association of Hong Kong (WAHK) threatened to withhold its support for a redevelopment plan of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, which is due to start next year.

'We wrote to the Legislative Council that we would not support the redevelopment of the Sports Institute unless we were going to get a training base in Stanley,' said Dennis Chau Wai-keung, executive director of the association, yesterday. 'And we were recently informed by the Lands Department that a piece of land at St Stephen's Beach had been granted for the project.

'This is good news for the sport as we stressed on many occasions that windsurfing needs a permanent training base or we would face great difficulties in maintaining our success on the international stage.'

According to Chau, they will build storage space, offices and tutorial rooms at the proposed site to supplement the facilities at the Sports Institute, which will move back to Fo Tan in the third quarter of 2011 at the completion of the redevelopment.

'The Sports Institute has reserved HK$11 million for the construction of the new training base, and if space allows, we also plan to build a gym to save travelling time between Stanley and Sha Tin,' Chau said.

With the institute having moved to Wu Kwai Sha to accommodate next year's Olympic equestrian events, Hong Kong's windsurfers are now using temporary facilities at Stanley's Sea School for their training under a three-year deal.