Email this article
Speech by CE at HKSI Main Building opening ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) Main Building this morning (October 25):

Carlson (Chairman of HKSI, Mr Carlson Tong), Timothy (President of Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, Mr Timothy Fok), distinguished guests, friends in sport, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning and thank you for inviting me to join you today. We are together to celebrate the completion of the new Main Building of the Hong Kong Sports Institute. A warm welcome to you all, especially to our guests from the Mainland and overseas who are here for the Asian Conference on Sport Science 2013, which will start later in the afternoon.

     The Sports Institute is a source of great pride for everyone in Hong Kong's sporting community. For many years, it has provided a home and a base for our high performance athletes as they pursue excellence in the international sporting arena. The HKSI has helped home-grown stars such as Lee Lai-shan, Wong Kam-po, So Wa-wai, Annie Au and Sarah Lee become household names in Hong Kong.

     In recognition of the HKSI's work in spotting and nurturing Hong Kong's foremost sporting talent, in 2008 the Government allocated $1.8 billion for the redevelopment of the Institute's facilities to help ensure that our athletes would have world-class training facilities in Hong Kong. The opening of the Main Building marks the substantial completion of the redevelopment project, and therefore a significant milestone for sports development in Hong Kong.

     Providing brand new, state-of-the-art hardware is just part of the Government's contribution to sport. We also recognise the need to provide many other forms of support that top-level athletes require, from access to high quality coaching, medical and technical services, to a secure and comfortable living environment - and everything in between.

     For this reason, in 2012, the Government set up a $7 billion Elite Athletes Development Fund to provide a stable, long-term source of funding for the Institute. The vast majority of this funding goes to the athletes, whether directly, through training and educational grants and performance incentives, or indirectly through the provision of a wide range of support services. With the new facilities and guaranteed funding in place, we are confident that our top sportsmen and women will be well equipped to compete with - and even outperform - the very best athletes in the world.

     We have already seen that Hong Kong's athletes have got what it takes to reach the top, and stay at the top. Their efforts at the Olympics, Paralympics, National Games and other top-level sports events have shown us that our athletes have talent, courage and discipline. This comes in part from long periods of supervised training, often from a young age. The early identification of talent is crucial for the continued development of high performance sport. As a new initiative announced in my 2013 Policy Address, we have launched the Pilot Scheme for Student Athlete Support to help expand our pool of young athletes by reaching out to less well-off students to ensure that they have the opportunity to achieve their sporting dreams.

     The Government recognises the value of sport in building a healthy and united community. We will continue to implement our policy of supporting the development of our elite athletes, promoting sports in the wider community and helping to organise major sports events in Hong Kong. I am confident that through the joint efforts of the Government, the HKSI and other organisations in the sports sector, Hong Kong's athletes will continue to achieve personal success and to bring honour to our city.

     I wish everyone at the new-look HKSI every success in producing our city's future champions.

     Thank you.

Ends/Friday, October 25, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:33


Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Print this page