I am delighted to publish this annual report of the Leisure and Cultural
Services Department, which spells out our achievements in 2002.
This report reviews the continued efforts of the
department to promote quality recreational and cultural activities,
as well as the initiatives being pursued in close liaison with partners
in numerous sectors in order to meet the constantly evolving needs
of the community.
The department’s vast network of sports facilities
provides the public with both convenient and quality services. During
the year, over 24 million people made use of these facilities in
their sporting pursuits. Organised community recreation and sports
activities remained popular with people of all ages, attracting
over two million participants. At the same time, the department
made subsidies available for National Sports Associations to organise
large-scale programmes inspired by the Sport-for-All concept.
The department also spared no effort in promoting
the greening of Hong Kong — 60,000 trees were
planted under its ambitious tree-planting programme. Emphasis was
put on preserving existing trees, nurturing new ones and carrying
out compensatory planting. A Computerised Tree Inventory System
was set up to support these efforts.
With the objective of positioning Hong Kong as
a cultural hub for Asia, we are fully committed to fostering a cultural
life that is rich in the arts and traditions of both East and West.
A wide variety of creative performances, from the traditional to
the avant-garde, were presented for the enjoyment of over 3.7 million
people, both locals and visitors. And I am pleased to report that
the 13 museums managed by the department welcomed a record-breaking
4.6 million visitors in 2002. Museum patronage has doubled in the
past five years.
Our public libraries, meanwhile, witnessed a significant
increase in usage. Since it opened in May 2001 until the end of
2002, the Hong Kong Central Library attracted 8.82 million users;
average daily attendance was about 16,000. We were most encouraged
to receive the Silver Award in IT Excellence presented by the Hong
Kong Computer Society and an Asia Pacific Information and Communication
Technology Award for the Central Library’s state-of-the-art
Multimedia Information System.
In closing, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor,
Mr Paul Leung. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department grew
steadily under his leadership after it was established in January
Finally, let me express my thanks to our partners
in the sports and cultural communities, our expert and community
services advisers, our Customer Liaison Groups, the Legislative
Council, the District Councils and the media for their support,
assistance and co-operation during the year.
With the concerted efforts of my colleagues and
unflagging support of the community, I am confident that future
years will be just as fruitful in accomplishments as 2002 was, and
that we will continue to fulfill our pledge to give our customers
Director of Leisure and Cultural Services