Hong Kong tennis chief Philip Mok Kwan-yat has called on more people to speak up about the closure of sporting facilities in the city as he tries to help hundreds of coaches who are desperately trying to make a living. Mok has sent a letter to Hong Kong’s sports commissioner, Yeung Tak-keung, expressing disappointment at the government’s decision to extend the shutdown of public facilities until January 6 amid a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections. “I feel that more people need to speak up for sports,” Hong Kong Tennis Association president Mok told the Post . “It’s been almost a year since the pandemic started in Hong Kong and we have suffered from four waves. “The government should by now have a good grasp on what the most likely causes of spread are. By all accounts, certain types of sports do not fall into this category of risk. [HKTA’s response to Government’s announcement to extend sports facilities closure to Jan 6th］ Following the... Posted by Hong Kong Tennis Association on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 “There are some neighbouring countries which have demonstrated success in the control of the pandemic and they didn’t involve the long-term shutdown of all sports facilities. I am just one voice and I don’t know if it would make any difference. “But I am hoping that more people in this sector would join in, using logic to convince the government to look at sports differently.” In his letter, Mok asked the government to allow tennis facilities to reopen with a capacity of two people for each 2,800 sq ft court and separated by a net. This is the fourth time the sports industry has had to shut down because of the pandemic, with coaches and training centre owners becoming increasingly frustrated by being forced to close whenever there is a surge in Covid-19 cases. Mok welcomed the government’s latest subsidy payment of HK$7,500 to all registered coaches but he urged Yeung to review their policies. He asked the government to create opportunities for Hongkongers to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially in a city with such a dense population. His most impassioned plea was for the government to spare a thought for those who were struggling to survive during lockdown. “The ability to sustain the livelihoods of tennis coaches has a profound impact on the development of our sport as a whole,” Mok wrote in his letter. “During the course of this year, repeated court closures are making a significant impact on their earnings. “Some are finding it difficult to make ends meet and they are expressing their frustrations as they fail to see the rationale behind the government’s decisions and the consistency with which the government applies its decisions to all activities. “A tennis court is a place of work for a tennis coach and they are being denied the opportunity to make their living. “It is quite undeniable that the risk of possible infections spread through tennis is ranked as very low by most health experts and thus it is not difficult to see why those affected would be frustrated. “Moreover, many are questioning whether such policies are in fact effective. We strongly feel that tennis does not need to be sacrificed just so that the policies are seen as being fair.” Mok said many people who would have pursued sport were crowding Hong Kong’s shopping malls, which have remained open. “Rather than forcing citizens to congregate into parks, hiking trails and shopping malls, it would be beneficial to allow them to engage in safer and more structured outdoor activities, with tennis being one of them,” Mok wrote.