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Typhoon Mangkhut

Typhoon Mangkhut: government pledges up to HK$10 million for each sports association with damaged facilities

Government agrees special funding to repair Hong Kong sports association-run facilities after initially saying the damage can be covered by insurance

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2018, 10:17am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2018, 10:17am

The government has agreed to provide special funding to repair sports association-run facilities damaged by Typhoon Mangkhut, declaring a ceiling of HK$10 million for each national sports association.

While most of the designated training facilities in Hong Kong are run by government’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department, some sports have their own training centres, such as rowing, canoeing and sailing, with windsurfing running a clubhouse at Stanley Beach. Cycling also runs its own Gin Drinkers Bay BMX centre in Kwai Chung.

Some of these sports face massive storm-damage bills and the government had initially indicated it would not be giving financial help to carry out repairs.

However, Dennis Chau Wai-keung, executive director of the Windsurfing Association of Hong Kong, said his organisation received a call from the Home Affairs Bureau last week telling them a maximum of HK$10 million (US$1.28 million) would be made available for them to repair Mangkhut-related damage.

“This is definitely good news as the clubhouse in Stanley Beach is in very bad condition after the typhoon,” Chau said.

“We also lost two coaching boats as both went missing in the sea during the typhoon and it will cost us a lot to replace them. Hopefully, this can now be resolved by the government funding.”

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Just after Mangkhut hit Hong Kong in mid-September, the Home Affairs Bureau indicated that insurance policies would have to cover repair bills.

However, most of the NSAs contacted said they never considered covering their facilities by insurance as the premium for property all-risk insurance was expensive and difficult to obtain.

Chau said his organisation had been given until this Friday to submit damage reports and repair estimates.

Other sports associations affected are understood to have been given the same deadline.

Tong Yui-shing, president of the Sailing Federation, said its elite training centre in Little Palm Beach of Sai Kung was severely damaged.

“We also received the call on Friday that there would be a maximum HK$10 million available for each association to repair its facilities,” he said. “Our sole elite training centre in Sai Kung suffered great damage.”

Alex Wong Chi-yu, executive director of the cycling association, expected several million dollars would be needed to repair its BMX centre.

“There is a minor landslide in our centre caused by falling trees,” he said. “Our centre also suffered other damage and now, thanks to the financial help from the government, we can resolve all these problems.”

Earlier, the rowing association said it would need HK$6 million to repair its two training centres along Shing Mun River.