Letters to the editor, January 16, 2016

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 January, 2016, 10:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 January, 2016, 10:00am

Let BMX park be fully accessible

Once again we have a direct conflict of interest, with the Cycling Association of Hong Kong still having a vice-like grip on the management and control of Hong Kong’s only BMX park.

Last year, the Cycling Association incredibly closed the Jockey Club International BMX Park for a weekend day so they could run a “mountain bike race” on and around the track. These are two very different cycling disciplines that have no overlap.

This weekend, the Cycling Association has shut the entire BMX park for three consecutive days – so that all the association’s staff at the BMX park can go help out at an indoor cycling event in Tseung Kwan O.

This is the second time the association has proven that it does not treat BMX riding as discrete from other cycling disciplines, and yet again it is our BMX riders who are penalised by not having any track open to train and ride on.

If the Leisure and Cultural Services Department was in charge of the BMX park, which was actually donated to the Hong Kong public by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the track would then be available to the public all the time, like other recreational parks in Hong Kong.

Having two sons who are both world-ranked BMX racers, I am frustrated to see this new sport, which has so much potential, being continually eroded by a sporting association that serves its own cycling interests at the expense of our only BMX park.

Return the park to the public, and have the Leisure and Cultural Services Department manage it, so BMX riding can develop accessibly, as it does in other countries worldwide.

Steven Meek, Tuen Mun

Mass sport events can inspire change

Recently, there has been much talk about how to improve fitness and public health in Hong Kong. Some say the solution lies in building more sports facilities, but not everyone agrees.

With more facilities available, Hong Kong people would have more choice when it comes to picking up a sport, such as swimming, football or tennis. Since many sports are team pursuits, people playing sports also get to spend more time with friends and family.

Slowly, Hong Kong will develop into a community of sports lovers.

But, of course, the increase in the number of sports facilities alone will not motivate residents to exercise. Change is difficult; most people find it difficult to change their habits.

So if we really want to promote a healthy lifestyle, it is important to create the right environment for it. The government plays a pivotal role in this regard. It could organise a sports day for all and other similar events.

Or it can open up the swimming pools and games grounds for people to use for free. This will be a great way to encourage people to get out of the house and enjoy a workout.

Phoebe Lo, Kowloon Tong

TSA test helps students prep for vital exam

I disagree with the call to cancel the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) test for Primary Three students (“TSA fight continues: Hong Kong principals slam education bureau for telling schools to stop drilling for exams”, December 14), because I believe it is an effective tool to improve our teaching.

Why not regard the TSA as a pressure-free examination for students? The result of the test will not affect students’ overall academic performance.

Besides, the questions in the test are not difficult, which means students really do not need to spend a lot of time studying for it. On the contrary, they can gain confidence if they do well in the test.

In fact, students can enrich their experience in taking exam through the TSA. Hong Kong students must undergo the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exams at the end of their Secondary Six year. Having to go through the TSA will give them a taste of exam preparation and help them to improve their revision skills, which will be useful when they sit for the DSE.

Many parents claim the TSA brings pressure on their children, yet what is really stressing students out is excessive drilling. If teachers gave less homework to the students, they would be less stressed.

Just scrap the excessive homework; there’s no need to scrap the TSA.

Au Kit Yan, Kowloon Tong

Internet will grow dull with new law

The government must substantially change or even take back the proposed amendment to the copyright law because implementing it will surely make the internet much less entertaining than it is now. Artists and other internet users who enjoy sharing works online will do less of it as they will be worried about unwittingly infringing the law.

More importantly, the proposed change will be a blow to our freedom of speech, which is a Hong Kong core value.

The internet should remain a free space, open to anyone who wishes to create and share their works.

The “Article 23 of the internet world” must be rejected.

Desmond Chan Chun Fai, Tseung Kwan O

Be wary of meeting ‘online friends’

We must be careful of the many pitfalls when using social media sites.

One is a possible breach of privacy. Some people have had their personal information stolen, so we should be careful with the personal information we share on social networking sites.

Further, we must be careful about the people we meet through such sites. Cyberbullying is a worry. Besides that, we must beware of cheats.

Many teenagers today buy and sell things through social media sites. Often, they would arrange to meet in person for the transaction. But it is dangerous to meet someone we have met only online. If we must meet, it is best to find some company, either an adult or several friends in a group.

We must be careful so we don’t become a victim of a cyber crime or online bullying.

Lee Pui Yu, Tseung Kwan O