Four-year blueprint to be revised

THE Sports Development Board's four-year Strategic Plan is to be revised to cater for the body's impending merger with the Hongkong Sports Institute.

The plan, unveiled in 1991, provided a blueprint for the development of local sport.

The SDB yesterday issued a progress report on the plan, summarising objectives achieved and areas where more progress is required.

And with the merger expected to be finalised in April next year, it is considered some objectives must be altered or modified accordingly.

SDB executive director Howard Wells said the current plan would not be abandoned. ''We came up with that plan two years ago and I think it is time for a longer term strategy,'' said Wells.

''The first plan was not the best document in the world, but it was a start. We need a plan that will bridge 1997 and provide for areas that may arise out of the merger.'' Wells expects to see a comprehensive document within a year.

The most significant objectives of the plan when it was first published were the identification of ''target sports'' and the need to increase sports funding in Hongkong.

At present, seven sports enjoy target sport status - badminton, rowing, soccer, squash, swimming, table tennis and windsurfing - which means they are considered to have the potential to succeed at Asian level and therefore receive extra funding from the SDB.

The plan aims to add three more target sports by 1995 and the SDB have already drawn up a list of 10 sports which have the potential to achieve elite status.

The money going into sport has also dramatically increased over the past two years. While the Government's annual outlay is now about $70 million, the main cash windfall came from a $250 million donation from the Jockey Club a year ago.

The Sports Aid Foundation, an SDB body which provides money to individual athletes, were hoping to have funding power of $60 million by 1995. And they are well on their way to meeting this target with $40.6 million already in the fund thanks to the JockeyClub donation.

The SDB also raised $19 million through sponsorship.

A sponsorship advisory service was fully operational by 1992 and in July last year the programme was taken to the business community.