South China Stadium gets HK$126m facelift

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 October, 2012, 3:13am

The South China Stadium will undergo a facelift following a donation of HK$126 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

The redevelopment of the stadium, which has not undergone any major renovation since its opening in the 1950s, will provide a new artificial turf pitch, a 1,000-seat spectator stand, an enhanced golf driving range, an indoor multi-purpose sports hall and the first indoor beach volleyball court in the city.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

"Our stadium is one of the oldest in the city and has not has had a facelift since it was built," said South China Athletics Association (SCAA) vice-chairman Victor Hui Chun-fui. "Many facilities are worn. They cannot meet the training requirements of our sports teams and fulfil our mission of promoting sports for the public's well-being."

Hui said the club would also need to contribute to the project as the HK$126 million budget was calculated last year without taking inflation into consideration. Construction is expected to start within 12 months after clearances from the authorities.

Established 102 years ago, SCAA is the biggest sports club in the city with more than 30 disciplines under its auspices.

But its soccer team seldom trains at the pitch as the conditions are very poor. "There is no drainage underground and the pitch is also too hard for training professional players," said soccer team captain Chan Wai-ho. "Although the pitch will be an artificial turf after the redevelopment, it can help solve the problem so that we can train at home."

Hui said the artificial turf would reduce the maintenance time and provide more usage for both the club's teams and the public. Although South China is a private club, it only charges a membership fee of HK$100 annually or HK$1,000 for life.

Jockey Club chairman Brian Stevenson said the renovation project was an important milestone as the SCAA "has been the centre of excellence for many of Hong Kong's elite sports personalities over the years".