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Chief Executive visits Tseung Kwan O (with photos)

    The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, today (May 23) visited a number of community facilities in Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung district and listened to progress reports by government departments concerning the development of leisure and recreational facilities in the area.

     Mr Tsang's visit started at the Sheung Tak Community Hall where he was briefed on Tseung Kwan O's planning issues as well as the restoration and future use of a landfill. He noted that the population of Tseung Kwan O was relatively young, but leisure and recreational facilities had not kept pace with the rapidly expanding population. However, the Government was already rectifying the situation, including changing the land use of Tseung Kwan O Landfill in Area 77.

     The landfill will be converted into an area of leisure and recreational use in a few years' time. Walking trails, sitting-out areas and designated zones for flying kites and model planes will be on offer to the public.

     A football training centre, which will be the first of its kind in Hong Kong and expected to be completed by 2008, will also be built by the Hong Kong Football Association in Area 77 with a $103-million grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

     Mr Tsang also took a look at a model of the proposed Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, which is designed to hold international and regional track-and-field events, including events in the 2009 East Asian Games.

     He then visited Jolly Place, a housing scheme for the elderly launched by the Hong Kong Housing Society and managed by Haven of Hope Christian Service.

     Jolly Place, whose residents are financially independent, provides self-contained, comfortable residential units with a range of leisure and recreational amenities, medical care services and club-house facilities.

     Mr Tsang toured the rehabilitation and health centre, the hydropool and the care lounge, chatting with the elderly tenants along the way. He also joined them in playing gate ball, a popular pastime and dropped in on a couple to learn more about their living conditions.

     "Although Hong Kong's population is ageing, I am happy to see that non-government organisations, in support of government policy, are providing well-equipped housing facilities and organising leisure and recreational activities to meet the physical and psychological needs of the elderly," Mr Tsang said.

     He then went to a shopping complex which is frequented by residents of the new town. Mr Tsang had afternoon tea and chatted with customers there.

     He also bought a football T-shirt to welcome the forthcoming World Cup events.

     The last stop of the visit was the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society Artiste Training Alumni Association Jockey Club Tseung Kwan O Youth Square, a youth centre at Tong Ming Court. The centre offers a range of facilities and Mr Tsang visited the performance room, music room, dance room and IT room.

     The centre, which was re-opened after renovations last Saturday, serves young people and their parents in Tseung Kwan O south. Mr Tsang watched the performance of a youth band and the design activity of some children. He also dropped by to give a few words of encouragement to a class of South Asian children learning the Chinese language at the centre.

     "The younger generation is our future. This youth centre and similar facilities provide healthy diversions for young people and help develop their talents and potential," he said.

     "Tseung Kwan O has been one of the fastest-growing new towns in recent years. Community facilities are closely linked to the quality of life for residents. We understand that the provision of community facilities in Tseung Kwan O is still inadequate. We will continue to try our best to create a quality living environment to cater for residents' physical and psychological needs," he said.

Ends/Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Issued at HKT 19:15


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