Medal success spurs support for Games bid

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 November, 2010, 12:00am

Hong Kong's success at the Asian Games in Guangzhou has led more people to support a bid to host the 2023 event, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said yesterday.

This came as a survey of primary and secondary school pupils by Baptist University found 76 per cent supported a bid.

Tsang called on political parties not to politicise any possible bid by the government. The city won eight gold, 15 silver and 17 bronze medals.

'Despite the financial burden, sport plays a positive role in our society.' Tsang said. 'Local athletes have set an example for adolescents. There is no need to politicise it. We have to look to the future and not let short-term considerations blind our final goal.'

Major parties have criticised the cost of hosting the Asian Games. The government budgeted up to HK$14.5 billion which was later revised to HK$6 billion.

The survey of 5,000 students found that less than one in four objected to Hong Kong's bid for the Games. But the higher the year the more students objected. The support rates fell from 90 per cent in Primary Three to 60 per cent in Form Five.

'Hosting the Games is like an incentive for a better sports culture,' said Lobo Louie, the university's associate director of the physical education department, who helped conduct the survey.

'I hope the government can keep their promise to put more resources into use. In the long run, [a successful bid] will help create a healthy sports culture and more elite athletes.'

A two-month government consultation on public support for the Games bid ends on Wednesday.

Sliding scale

A survey found the percentage of Form Five students supporting a bid for the Asian Games in 2023 was: 60%