Fancy a workout on a treadmill at a government sports centre? First take a three-hour safety course, for which you will have to wait months if you do not speak Chinese. How about a spin or two around a new skateboard park? The HK$51 million park was completed early this year but has yet to open because officials are said to be 'very worried' about on-site safety. Frustrated would-be users say the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is taking safety concerns to unnecessary extremes to avoid responsibility for accidents. The Tung Chung Man Tung Road Sports Centre was opened to the public in February. But Discovery Bay resident Jeff Bell said he was not allowed to use the treadmill without taking a safety course for which he had to wait three months until December. The other courses were all in Chinese. 'Who in their right mind is going to wait three months and spend an afternoon being lectured on how to use exercise machines that Cro-Magnon man could figure out?' Bell asked. A department spokesman said the policy was in place to ensure the proper use of equipment and the safety of all users. Most briefings were in Cantonese due to low demand from English speakers. Sessions in English are held only twice a year - in June and December - but bilingual sessions will be added in November. Meanwhile, the new 2,200 square metre skateboard park at On Lok Tsuen, Fan Ling, still lies idle. Warren Stuart, vice-president of the Hong Kong Federation of Extreme Sports, said the government had asked the federation's help to organise 'fun days' to showcase skateboarding facilities. 'It is all a big show,' he said. 'They take all the trouble to do all this stuff to show the public that they've done their homework, so if there are any injuries they won't be blamed.'