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LCQ2: Hong Kong Marathon

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, in the Legislative Council today (January 22):


     Regarding the yearly Hong Kong Marathon, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the role played by the Government in the 2014 Hong Kong Marathon, and the assistance (including financial subsidy and the number of supporting staff from the various grades) provided to the organiser of the event;

(b) of the financial and manpower assistance provided by the Government to the Hong Kong Marathon in the past five financial years, and the expenditures incurred; and

(c) given that quite a number of members of the public could not participate in the Hong Kong Marathon due to over-enrolment in all these years, whether the Government will consider organising another international marathon, so as to enable more members of the public to participate in marathons and promote sport for all; if it will, of the plan; if not, the reasons for that?



     Organised by the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA), the Hong Kong Marathon is recognised as a Silver Label Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federations.  It has also been recognised as an "M" Mark major sports event by the Government since 2005.

     For marathons to be held successfully in Hong Kong, a densely populated city with limited space and heavy traffic, a large number of technical problems have to be resolved. Furthermore, due to the inconvenience caused by road closures, public support and tolerance are required. In this connection, the HKAAA invites relevant government departments to offer their advice to the Hong Kong Marathon Organising Committee every year. The HKAAA also consults District Councils concerned on the arrangements for the event.

     My reply to the respective parts of the question is as follows:

(a) The Government welcomes the growth of the marathon. Assistance provided by government departments includes: crowd and traffic management by the Hong Kong Police Force and the Civil Aid Service; enhanced operation of the Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre by the Transport Department on the event day, so that the organiser and the relevant departments can closely monitor traffic and transport conditions and disseminate up-to-date traffic and transport information; venue support services by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department; and the provision of first aid and emergency transportation services to convey injured participants to hospitals, as well as first aid stations and medical stations along the race routes by the Auxiliary Medical Service. The roles played by government departments in the Hong Kong Marathon are set out in more detail at the Annex.

     The assistance provided by various government departments is within the normal scope of their prescribed functions and the deployment of manpower in the discharge of their duties is in accordance with practical needs. Therefore, we do not keep a separate account of expenditure, including supporting staff, for the Hong Kong Marathon.

(b) As mentioned above, as the respective government departments deploy manpower in accordance with practical needs in the discharge of their duties, we do not keep a separate expenditure account for the event, nor do we provide an estimate of the required manpower resources. In the past five years, the Government has received no funding applications from the HKAAA in relation to the Hong Kong Marathon.

(c) The Hong Kong Marathon is organised by the HKAAA and is also recognised by relevant international sports federations. The HKAAA and other associations and organisations also host other races of various running distances, including marathons, every year.  If the HKAAA were to organise another annual international marathon, the Government would provide appropriate assistance.

Ends/Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:47


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