Rifle club blames sports officials for failing to resolve dispute

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 May, 2011, 12:00am

A 60-year-old rifle association which is facing disbandment when the government takes back the land on which its shooting range sits has blamed bad management by the Hong Kong Sports Federation and Olympic Committee for its plight.

The Hong Kong Rifle Association, which has been operating at the range in Lai Chi Kok since 1964, has a membership of 600.

Officials from the Water Supply Department will resume the land on Monday, four years after the rifle group left the Hong Kong Shooting Association, the governing body which runs sport shooting events in the city.

Membership of the shooting association is a prerequisite for renting the land from the government.

Rifle association secretary Jeff Leung Man-kit said the association had written several letters to the sports federation since leaving the shooting association, in the hope it could help them regain membership.

'They have the responsibility of managing these disputes,' said Leung. 'But they only told us to talk to the shooting association.'

He accused the federation of contributing to the rifle association's imminent demise by allowing the shooting association to be the sole organisation running sport shooting in the city.

'Hong Kong will lose half of its sport shooting facilities after we close down,' he said. 'It's a pity.'

The Kau Wah Keng shooting range in Lai Chi Kok will continue to operate until the land is formally resumed by the department on Monday, and Leung said his club would continue to make efforts to regain membership of the association until the deadline.

The shooting association said last month it had refused to renew the rifle association's membership because it was behind 'many malicious acts', including not allowing members of the Hong Kong shooting team to practise at the range. The rifle association denies this.

The shooting association refused to comment further yesterday, and the federation did not reply to South China Morning Post inquiries.


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