Go to main content
LCQ13: Measures on promoting sports development
     Following is a question by the Hon Vincent Cheng and a written reply by the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung, in the Legislative Council today (November 16):
     The Chief Executive has put forth a number of measures to promote sports development in the 2022 Policy Address, including mapping out a "10-year development blueprint for sports and recreation facilities" (the development blueprint), enhancing the Hong Kong "M" Mark System, and enhancing the support for qualified sports clubs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the preliminary details of the 31 proposed projects in the development blueprint (including the number of new as well as refurbished and converted recreation and sports facilities involved);
(2) as it has been reported that, according to the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, there is an acute shortage of public sports facilities in Hong Kong (e.g. lacking almost 300 badminton courts and over 200 basketball courts), and yet there are only 31 proposed projects in the development blueprint, of the Government's other proposals to resolve the problem of acute shortage of public sports facilities, such as whether it will consider converting single-storey sports centres and community halls into multi-purpose sports complexes; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) given that the 2022 Policy Address proposes to conduct improvement works in about 10 public rental housing (PRH) estates per year and select five existing PRH estates for conducting theme-based (e.g. "energetic and healthy") improvement works as a pilot scheme, whether such works will include refurbishing some substandard sports facilities (e.g. soccer pitches and basketball courts) in the estates (in particular the old estates); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(4) as the Government has indicated that it will enhance the Hong Kong "M" Mark System to support the hosting of at least 10 major international sports events in Hong Kong annually, of the sports events it has preliminary plans to support; as the Government advised earlier on that it would relax the eligibility criteria for the Hong Kong "M" Mark System, of the relevant details; and
(5) given that the 2022 Policy Address proposes to enhance the arrangement of training and competition venues for qualified sports clubs, and support local sports clubs in their participation in major sports competitions on the Mainland and in the region, of the preliminary details of the measures concerned?
     After consulting the Housing Department, my consolidated reply to the question raised by the Hon Vincent Cheng is as follows:
(1) Having considered sports development needs and the foreseeable population increase, especially in the Northern Metropolis and the new development areas on the Lantau Island, the Chief Executive has mapped out a 10-year development blueprint for sports and recreation facilities in the 2022 Policy Address to provide about 30 facilities by phases, with a view to providing quality and diversified sports and recreation facilities to the public continuously. In the first five years, we plan to launch 16 projects for sports and recreation facilities for implementation (a list of the projects is at Annex), including 14 projects for new facilities and two redevelopment projects. We will also launch the technical feasibility study for about 15 projects, covering facilities such as sports centres, sports grounds and parks. While the main objective is to provide new facilities, consideration will also be given to redeveloping and enhancing some existing facilities if there is a genuine need. Projects to have technical feasibility studies conducted in the first five years include Sports Centre in Yuen Long South and redevelopment of Morrison Hill Swimming Pool. The list of projects concerned will be confirmed in due course after detailed arrangements have been worked out in the next stage.
(2) To foster a strong sporting culture in the community, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) is dedicated to providing quality recreation and sports facilities to the public in Hong Kong. Besides the 26 projects identified for implementation under the Five-Year Plan for Sports and Recreation Facilities announced in the Policy Address in January 2017, the LCSD has been constructing sports and recreation facilities under different works projects, including capital works projects costing over $50 million, district minor works projects and minor building works projects. 
     While building new sports facilities, the LCSD has also been making good use of and upgrading existing facilities. The Government announced in the 2021-22 Budget to earmark $318 million to implement a five-year plan for upgrading over 70 football pitches in order to provide more football pitches meeting the standards of Fédération Internationale de Football Association, thereby contributing to the development of football in Hong Kong.

     In recent years, the LCSD has also collaborated with other departments, bureaux and organisations to continue to develop new and improve existing sports and recreation facilities. For example, Choi Wing Road Sports Centre and Sham Shui Po Sports Centre recently opened are constructed by the Housing Department and managed by the LCSD.The LCSD has also collaborated with the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in providing sports and recreation facilities in the URA's urban renewal projects. For example, the URA has planned to redevelop the original single-storey Cheung Sha Wan Sports Centre and upgrade its leisure facilities to meet the current specifications and design standards under the Cheung Wah Street/Cheung Sha Wan Road Development Scheme (SSP-018).

(3) The Policy Address suggests providing better public space, facilities and estate environment for public housing residents. An action group, led by the Secretary for Housing, will conduct a consultancy study on the public space, facilities and estate environment of new public housing projects, and develop "Well-Being" design guidelines. The study is expected to be completed in 2024.

     The same concept will be applied to existing Public Rental Housing (PRH) estates to improve the facilities. The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) will select five existing PRH estates as a pilot scheme for conducting theme-based improvement works. Such themes preliminarily include Green Environment, Elderly-friendly Home, Inter-generational Harmony, Vitality and Health, as well as Community Connection. The HA will also explore ways to further improve the estate environment and refurbish public facilities such as recreational and fitness equipment, pitches/courts, sitting-out areas, etc., and will carry out the improvement in phases within five years, with a view to creating an estate environment with an enhanced sense of well-being for residents.

     In addition, the HA will select about 10 PRH estates each year for façade beautification and minor estate improvement works (e.g. enhancement of recreational facilities). The HA will also select about 20 other estates for landscape improvement (e.g. planting suitable flowering plants to blend well with the landscape of estates) to provide a pleasant and healthy green environment for residents, thereby enhancing their quality of life.

     The HA provides timely inspection and maintenance for ball courts facilities in existing PRH estates during their daily operations. Depending on the actual site condition and constraints, the HA will try to make improvements to these venues when they are refurbished in the future.

(4) The Government is committed to developing Hong Kong into a centre for major international sports events. In 2004, the "M" Mark System (the System) was introduced to support local national sports associations (NSAs) to host major international sports events in Hong Kong through provision of matching fund and direct grant. 

     In order to attract more major international sports events to be held in Hong Kong, we are now considering enhancing the System, including raising the funding ceiling for each event, abolishing the quota for "M" Mark events that can be organised by the same applicant each year, etc. We will also review and relax the eligibility of applicants to cover events organised by NSAs and related organisations to support more major international sports events to be held in Hong Kong. 

     With the stabilisation of the epidemic, we expect that about nine major international sports events will be held in Hong Kong next year, including Hong Kong Marathon (February), Hong Kong Sevens (March), Volleyball Nations League Hong Kong (June), Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races (June), Hong Kong Tennis Open (October), Harbour Race (October), Hong Kong Open Badminton Championships (November), Hong Kong Golf Open (November) and Hong Kong Squash Open (November).
(5) The Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau (CSTB) will explore with the LCSD on how to enhance the arrangement for training and competition venues for qualified professional clubs. For instance, we will explore the possibility of allowing priority booking of designated venues by these clubs as training bases for their teams and squads, and as major venues for events. We hope that these measures will help professional clubs plan their long-term development on the basis of a stable provision of venues, and establish better collaboration with their respective districts, thereby attracting more youngsters with potential to join the sports industry by providing career pathways and employment opportunities, and strengthening social cohesion and support for sports development. We will also support local sports clubs in their participation in major sports competitions in the Mainland and in the region, including proactively exploring with relevant Mainland authorities the feasibility of allowing Hong Kong clubs to participate in the professional league on the Mainland.
Ends/Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:00
Today's Press Releases