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Chief Secretary unveils plaque at new Victoria Park Swimming Pool opening ceremony (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the new Victoria Park Swimming Pool today (November 24). The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) specially invited four Olympic gold medalists from the national diving team to grace the occasion by giving a wonderful diving demonstration.

     The four Olympic gold medalists from the national diving team, Wu Minxia, He Zi, Chen Ruolin and Qin Kai, joined local diving athletes Xie Zhen, Sharon Chan and other members of the Hong Kong diving team in giving a beautiful demonstration. Mr Xie and Ms Chan won silver and bronze medals respectively at the Sixth East Asian Games which was recently held in Tianjin. Their marvellous diving skills won great applause from the audience.

     Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing said that with all-weather facilities of international standards the new Victoria Park Swimming Pool was expected to draw more international swimming events to Hong Kong.

     He believed that the new pool complex would benefit Hong Kong's aquatic sports development and help elevate the city's status as an Asian hub for major sports events.

     He also expressed sincere gratitude to the General Administration of Sport of China for arranging four world-renowned Mainland diving athletes to give demonstrations at the opening ceremony along with Hong Kong diving athletes, so that local audiences could witness the fantastic skills of both the national and local athletes.

     Also officiating at the ceremony today were Chairman of the Legislative Council's Panel on Home Affairs, Mr Ma Fung-kwok; President of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, Mr Timothy Fok; Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young; Chairman of the Eastern District Council, Mr Wong Kin-pan; Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung; Director of Architectural Services, Mr Leung Koon-kee and Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association, Mr Ronnie Wong. They were joined by more than 2 000 spectators at the new pool complex in enjoying the splendid performances by the Mainland and local athletes.

     Apart from the diving demonstration, a short-course relay race and a synchronised swimming performance were also arranged through which the joyful atmosphere was boosted.

     The opening ceremony is a highlight event of "Vibrant Hong Kong" under the citywide "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign.

     The new Victoria Park Swimming Pool provides a 50 metres by 25 metres main pool as well as a 33 metres by 25 metres multi-purpose pool, both equipped with a movable floor to adjust water depth. The main pool is fitted with a movable bulkhead to divide the areas for short- course races, while the multi-purpose pool provides diving platforms and springboards of various heights which meet international standards for diving training and competitions. These advanced facilities enhance the flexibility of the swimming pool, making it suitable for the general public to enjoy the fun of swimming as well as for hosting international competitions such as diving, water polo and sychronised swimming as well as long-course and short-course swimming.

     The new pool complex is uniquely designed with a streamlined exterior wall standing alongside the trees in Victoria Park. It uses a variety of energy-saving measures and its extensive tree plantation has boosted the level of greenery.

     With the opening of the new swimming pool complex, the old pool is now being demolished and the site will be used to reprovision the handball court and skating rinks that were demolished a few years ago to make way for the construction of the new pool.

     The old Victoria Park Swimming Pool, which opened in October 1957, was the first public swimming pool in Hong Kong. In commemoration, a special exhibition with historical photos and information as well as a video production is now on show at the ground floor of the new pool complex. The exhibition will last until the end of February next year and is open to the public free of charge.

Ends/Sunday, November 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:44


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