Private sports clubs render valuable service to Hong Kong and should not face land cuts
The clubs also regularly host mini rugby, soccer and cricket tournaments for thousands of children from all communities in Hong Kong and have been recognised by Guinness World Records for the sheer scale of these events. Furthermore, the clubs regularly support major events: sailing clubs provide support to international events such as various dinghy and keelboat class world championships, and the Volvo Ocean Race and Beneteau Four Peaks Race, which are unique to the Aberdeen Boat Club.
Private sports clubs also bolster Hong Kong’s economic success. Due to its ageing population, Hong Kong by 2023 will be facing a diminishing workforce. Thereafter, Hong Kong will have to compete with other cities for talent. In this regard, private sport clubs are an important component of decision-making by foreign companies and investors when considering the best locations for staff to live and work.
The task force’s targeting of these clubs has created concern among club members, management and related communities. The task force should not take back any private lease sports club land. The government should instead consider allocating more private recreational lease land to encourage sports development, and foster healthy lifestyles to the ultimate benefit of Hong Kong’s economy and global standing.
Christopher Pooley, commodore, Aberdeen Boat Club