More than $190 million will be allocated to Hong Kong's sporting family today, of which a major portion will go to the 12 elite sports. The Sports Development Board (SDB), which handles the unenviable task of slicing up the pie among the 54 sporting associations, has been told by the Hong Kong Government that a minimum of $60 million must be spent on the 12 elite sports in the next financial year. The 12 elite or Focus Sports are: badminton, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, rowing, squash, swimming, table tennis, track and field, triathlon, windsurfing and wushu. It is understood that the SDB will allocate around $85 million to these chosen few. The sum will be unequally distributed, with some sports (like windsurfing) receiving more than others (fencing). A high-ranking official of the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport (BCS) bureau told Sports Post yesterday that the bottom-line support - $60 million - for the selected few was loosely based on a report by Coopers & Lybrand, which was commissioned to look at Hong Kong sport funding. The SDB will this afternoon officially announce its 1998-99 allocation to the various associations and the 12 Focus Sports that have been under the tutelage of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) - soon to become the Sha Tin-based headquarters of the SDB. 'We have given the SDB a huge chunk of money and it will be up to them to allocate it to the various associations. But as far as the 12 elite sports are concerned, we have set a benchmark,' said Jonathan McKinley, BCS's principal secretary for recreation and sport. 'We have told the SDB not to go below $60 million . . . and I don't think they will. I believe they may go up to around $80 million,' added McKinley. SDB chief executive Andrew Ma yesterday confirmed that the elite training programme would receive funding in the $80-million range. But he added that the sum will be about $20 million less than the ideal figure. 'Nobody is ever happy with what they will get. But one must remember that it is a subsidy. The associations will have to live with it . . . receiving less than what they hoped for,' said Ma. For the first time, the Government will directly be involved in financially supporting the programme of elite sports, which in the past was funded by the HKSI. The HKSI had previously run on its own steam, using money from an endowment fund set up by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which pumped in $350 million in 1987 as a one-off endowment. Today, the kitty has depleted and the HKSI has run out of funds, leading to its dependence on the Hong Kong Government for support. 'The Government is now stepping in to fund the elite training programme. This will guarantee the continuation of Hong Kong sport's performance at the highest level,' said Ma. Last year, the Government's subvention to sport was $105 million. 'The overall allocation is up 90 per cent from last year and most of it will be to elite sports,' said McKinley. 'I think this year's allocation is very reasonable and appropriate. It is enough to get by. But we are always open to review our position every year,' added McKinley. While the SDB relies mostly on the Government for its funds, there is an increasing shift to generate its own funds through commercial activities.