Speech by CE at Inter-School Swimming Competition 2017-18 award presentation ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the Inter-School Swimming Competition 2017-18 award presentation ceremony at Kowloon Park Swimming Pool today (October 27):
Mrs Lau (Chairlady of the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Secondary Schools Regional Committee, Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation, Mrs Stella Lau), ladies and gentlemen, students, swimmers,
     Good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to be here for the Division One Inter-School Swimming Competition's prize presentation ceremony for 2017-18. I also enjoyed very much watching the Finals of the Boys and the Girls A Grade freestyle relays just now.
     I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to over 14 000 students among the 723 teams participating in this year's competition. For the winning athletes, many of you may represent Hong Kong in the future in international competitions and I look to you to bring us glory and honour.
     Over the years, the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation has been working with the Government on the development of local sports. Thanks to the tireless endeavours and dedication of the Federation, our talented student athletes are given precious opportunities to develop their potential to the full and excel in competitions. I sincerely look forward to our continuous collaboration with the Federation and hope to see our student athletes cherish every opportunity that comes their way in both local and international sports events.
     The Government has consistently promoted the development of sports through a three-pronged approach, namely to promote sport in the community, to support elite sport and to make Hong Kong a centre for major international sports events. In recent years, our elite athletes have achieved remarkable results in international sports events and inspired many young people with their passion, commitment and hard work. And we're doing all we can, on the sidelines, to help these elite athletes. That includes injecting HK$1 billion next year into the Elite Athletes Development Fund with a view to reinforcing the coaching team and training partner arrangements, and enhancing scientific and medical support for raising their standards.
     Apart from taking forward the mega Kai Tak Sports Park project to provide modernised and multi-purpose facilities to support major sports events and holistic sports development, the Government has earmarked HK$20 billion in the coming five years to launch 26 projects to develop new or improve existing sports and recreation facilities, including sports grounds, football pitches, swimming pool complexes and open space. These facilities when completed will help boost Hong Kong's sports development in all the three aspects I have just mentioned. They will definitely help enhance the image of Hong Kong as an Asian sports city. They will also help promote healthy lifestyles, encourage social interaction and foster a strong sense of community identity.
     Before I close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation for tirelessly nurturing young athletes over the years. I would also like to extend my deep appreciation to all those who have dedicated their time, enthusiasm, manpower and resources to make this annual competition a continued success. May I also wish our student athletes all the best in sports, academic pursuit and your future endeavours. Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, October 27, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:22