TOP officials from China's National Training Bureau (NTB) will visit Hong Kong in February to discuss the territory's potential as a training base for leading Chinese sports personalities. NTB deputy director Zhang Zhito will be joined by four other delegates in the territory for talks with officials from the Hong Kong Sports Institute. Kwok Ka-ming, senior coach at the Institute, said the NTB delegation would be able to see the facilities Hong Kong has to offer China's national sports teams and athletes. 'The winter in the north of China is very cold and makes it difficult for athletes to train in those conditions,' said Kwok. 'Normally, these athletes go south to Guangzhou and Shenzhen to train, so we think Hong Kong would also be an ideal place.' Kwok expects the delegation to arrive in Hong Kong before the Chinese New Year. He said the NTB visit is likely to coincide with the arrival of China's national track and field squad, who are hoping to spend several weeks in the territory training for next year's Olympic Games in Atlanta. Added Kwok: 'We have sent out an invitation to the track and field squad but there has been no reply yet. 'But we are confident that they will come.' In August this year, officials from the Chinese track and field team had verbally agreed to embark on the Hong Kong trip, which would be the first official technical exchange between Hong Kong and China at national sporting level. Chinese sportsmen and women will be able to train in the territory because of a visit by a six-strong Institute delegation to China in June this year, which established official sporting links with the mainland. The delegation included Kwok. It was led by Institute director Dr Dennis Whitby and went to Beijing and Wuhan at the invitation of the All China Sports Federation. The visit also spawned other significant agreements including sending top-level Hong Kong coaches to China for clinics, the development of a two-year plan regarding research work and the staging of an elite coaches seminar in Hong Kong every May. Former national soccer coach Kwok was assigned the task of co-ordinating the Hong Kong-China technical exchange. The Institute is hoping that visits by Chinese sportsmen and women will become more frequent over time.