Government provides a lot of financial help to young elite athletes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 July, 2016, 4:50pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 July, 2016, 10:30pm

I refer to the letter by Chloe Kwok (“Government must do more to help talented young athletes in HK”, July 10) and I would like to provide a factual account of the issues concerned.

The government is committed to promoting the development of sports in Hong Kong, with the policy objectives of encouraging wider participation in the community, supporting elite sports and making Hong Kong a hub for major international sports events.

On elite training, we established the HK$7 billion Elite Athletes Development Fund (EADF) in 2012 to support the operation of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, the government’s delivery agent of elite sports training. The allocation from EADF to the institute in 2016-17 is around HK$450 million.

At present, the Sports Institute supports 17 Tier A sports and 13 Tier B sports, and provides scholarships to about 1,000 junior and senior elite athletes; among them are about 20 from billiards and about 20 from squash.

We also allocated HK$1.8 billion to fund the redevelopment of the institute to provide state-of-the-art training and supporting facilities.

With such facilities, the institute is providing a full range of support services in coaching, training, competitions, sports medicine and science, education and career support for athletes. Information about the eligibility for elite sports and institute scholarships is set out on the institute’s website (www.hksi.org.hk).

Through the Arts and Sports Development Fund (ASDF), the government provides funding for our athletes to prepare for and participate in major international multi-sports games, such as the Olympics and Paralympics, Asian Games and Asian Para Games. Around HK$7.8 million has been allocated to the Hong Kong, China delegation for preparation for and participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The ASDF also provides funding support to other representative teams to prepare for and participate in high-level international competitions.

The government will continue to work closely with the sports sector in supporting our elite athletes in pursuing sporting excellence. Let’s cheer for our athletes as they realise their Olympic dream.

Yeung Tak-keung, commissioner for sports