To welcome the East Asian Games (EAG) to be held in Hong Kong and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games 100-day Countdown-cum-Torch Relay will be held on August 29 (Saturday) to build up the atmosphere of the EAG.
The torch relay, with the theme “Light the Way to the EAG”, marks the vigour of the EAG athletes and young people and signifies the wide-spread of the EAG messages throughout the community, schools and among the younger generation.
There will be 65 torchbearers of whom more than 80 per cent are athletes. They will take part in the torch relay on August 29, of which the run on the road will be from 3pm to about 4.30pm, covering Tsim Sha Tsui district, Victoria Harbour and Wan Chai district.
The 100-day countdown activity, “Countdown to the Hong Kong 2009 EAG Show” will be held the same evening. There will be a torch handing over ceremony to kick off the School Torch Relay, which symbolises the continuation of the EAG spirit. About 500 schools will take part in the School Torch Relay between September and November.
Speaking at a press conference held today (July 23), the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, said that the torch relay was to promote the EAG as well as the messages of health, dynamism, friendship and competition to the community, which were important elements of sports development in Hong Kong.
Noting that it would be the first time for Hong Kong to host a large-scale international multi-sport event, he said that all the preparatory work, including that on venues, funding, volunteer recruitment, ticketing, publicity and other logistics had entered a final phase and was in good progress.
Mr Tsang wished that the EAG would be successfully held and members of the public would actively participate in it. He said that the EAG would further promote sports development in Hong Kong and enhance exchanges among territories in the East Asian region. This would in turn consolidate Hong Kong’s status as an event capital.
The Chief Executive Officer of 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Limited, Mr Johnny Woo, introduced the route of the torch relay at the press conference. The route will be divided into three parts. The section in Tsim Sha Tsui covers about 4.2 kilometres, the section crossing the Victoria Harbour is about 4.6 kilometres and that in Wan Chai covers about 1.4 kilometres. The torchbearers will relay the torch by running or on various modes of transportation including cars and vessel.
The torch relay will start at the Kowloon Park Piazza, pass through Austin Road, Nathan Road, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Avenue of Stars, cross the Victoria Harbour to Expo Drive East, Harbour Road, Expo Drive to reach the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island.
When the torch is relayed to the Golden Bauhinia Square, the EAG flame will be transported to the TV City by car where the last torchbearer will finish the last leg of the relay. The 100-day countdown carnival will then follow. The programme will be broadcast on TVB-Jade at 10.30pm in the same evening.
The composition of the 65 torchbearers is: 22 representatives from the National Sports Associations of the EAG competition sports, 18 representatives from the 18 District Councils, one representative from the principal contributor, 12 representatives from the diamond partners, two representatives from the EAG volunteers, three representatives from youth groups, three EAG Ambassadors and four EAG theme song singers.
School cheering teams from the 18 districts will cheer the torchbearers along the relay route to create an ambience. Community bodies will also organise activities at district level to welcome the torch and show support for the EAG.
A special feature for this torch relay is that the relay will be carried on by schools in the 18 districts from September to November so as to enable the younger generation to share the EAG spirit. As at present, about 500 schools have enrolled, involving over 400,000 students. Each of the participating schools will be given a torch as souvenir.
Mr Woo said that related publicity would be launched in parallel. Posters and banners will be placed in 18 districts while EAG messages will be promoted through Road Show on public buses across the territory in August. Decorations will be mounted along the route on the day of the torch relay.
The public can browse the dedicated homepage on torch relay, which was launched today at the websites of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department ＜http://www.lcsd.gov.hk＞and the EAG (Hong Kong) Ltd ＜http://www.2009eastasiangames.hk＞. The homepage contains background of the torch relay, design concept of the EAG Torch, the route, list of torchbearers and the school torch relays to be held from September. The homepage also features interactive games to enhance the public’s interest in the EAG torch relay.
Three EAG Ambassadors were appointed at the press conference today. They are pop singers Mr Alan Tam, Mr Hacken Lee and Mr Eason Chan. They have been helping in the promotion of the EAG, including holding EAG fund raising concerts, singing the EAG theme song and participating in various major events. They will continue to help promote the EAG in future.
Other officiating guests included the Chairman of the 5th East Asian Games Planning Committee, Mr Timothy Fok; the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau; the Acting Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Bobby Cheng; and the Advisor of the Hong Kong 2009 EAG Torch Relay, Mr William Ko. The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing joined hands with the officiating guests to unveil the torch.
Other attending guests included the designer of the Hong Kong 2009 EAG Torch, Mr Kan Tai-keung; representative of the company sponsoring the torch production; singer of the international version of the Hong Kong 2009 EAG theme song, Mr Richie Ren; representative of torchbearers, Ms Lee Lai-shan; and representatives from two schools joining the Schools Torch Relay.
The Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games will be held between December 5 and 13. Over 3,000 elite athletes from nine East Asian countries / regions will vie for 262 gold medals in 22 sports. Both the number of sports and medals are the largest in the history of EAG.
Ends/Thursday, July 23, 2009
To welcome the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games (EAG) and to celebrate the 60th anniversary for the founding of the People's Republic of China, the EAG 100-day Countdown cum Torch Relay will be held on August 29. Details of the event were announced at a press conference held today (July 23). Picture shows the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing (4th left); the Chairman of the 5th East Asian Games Planning Committee, Mr Timothy Fok (4th right); the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau (3rd left), together with other officiating guests, unveiling the EAG Torch.
Mr Timothy Fok appointing Alan Tam, Hacken Lee and Eason Chan as the EAG Ambassadors.
The EAG Mascots, Dony and Ami, posing a group photo with guests and EAG Ambassadors.
Student representatives from the schools joining the School Torch Relay posing a photo with Dony and Ami.
The torch for the 2009 East Asian Games Torch Relay.