I refer to the letter from Andy Brothers headlined 'Junior tennis stars leaving in droves' (South China Morning Post, November 9), concerning booking procedures of tennis courts for the training programmes conducted by the Hong Kong Tennis Association.
We recognise the need for national sports associations, such as the tennis association, to plan their training programmes and competitions in advance. Therefore, national associations are allowed to book our facilities 12 months in advance and we will confirm their bookings four months before the sessions so they can adjust the booking schedule if necessary. The existing booking procedures offer flexibility to these associations, so they can plan their training programmes.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) manages a total of 272 tennis courts. Our usage records between April 2000 and March 2001 showed that the usage of LCSD tennis courts by the tennis association amounted to 2.5 per cent of the total booking time of the courts. The LCSD can meet the association's demand for courts.
Although the tennis association favours the use of a cluster of LCSD venues, we will still apply flexibility and help solve any booking clashes.
The Hong Kong Sports Development Board concentrates on elite training while the LCSD focuses on promoting sports for all. The Hong Kong Sports Institute is the training base for elite sports athletes with facilities, coaching and technical support, such as sports science and sports medicine, and strength and conditioning. Some national associations prefer to conduct their advanced or squad training at the institute.
We review our booking procedures from time to time and when we do so, we consult with the national sports associations. We take all feedback into account.
If your reader requires additional information, he is welcome to contact me on 2601 8762 during office hours.
for Director of Leisure and Cultural Services