Hong Kong swim association makes bid for world short course championships

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2012, 5:07am

Hong Kong submitted its bid for either the 2016 or 2018 world short course championships yesterday, confident it can raise the money required to host the event.

Hong Kong Swimming Association honorary secretary Ronnie Wong Man-chiu said his organisation was determined to bring the world event to Hong Kong.

"The budget for hosting the event is estimated to be US$12 million and it's not a small amount of money," he said. "But it is one of the biggest events in the world, and it would be a big honour for our city to be the host.

"Hong Kong is a world business centre and we are confident of securing adequate commercial support to make the event happen. We will also approach the government for backing, as we know its Mega Events Fund is keen to help sport financially."

A special team from swimming's international federation, Fina, will make a site visit to Hong Kong next month to inspect the facilities, and a decision will be made in December during the 2012 short course championships in Istanbul, Turkey. The event is expected to bring 700 swimmers to Hong Kong. The 2014 event will be held in Doha.

Last week, the MEF allocated HK$15 million to the golf association for next month's Hong Kong Open, while the Kitchee Foundation also received HK$8 million for its proposed exhibition against English Premier League powerhouses Manchester United next summer.

Wong said earlier the association expected half of the budget to be offset by gate receipts and other in-kind support, while the remaining half could be met by government funding and sponsorship money.