In response to a newspaper article today (September 5) on the construction and usage of the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Architectural Services Department made the following statement today:
On the usage of the sports ground, it is absolutely necessary for the LCSD to hold test events for the East Asian Games in Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground so as to test its facilities and to acquaint its staff with the operation of large-scale events and crowd control in order to fully prepare the venue for the East Asian Games scheduled to be held at the end of the year. Moreover, as the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground was built with public funds, it must be open for public use. The management staff of the sports ground have been enforcing venue regulations, including requiring users to wear proper shoes and limiting the number of tracks open for use so as to reduce the wear and tear of the venue, in particular the inner tracks.
After taking over the sports ground in March, the LCSD held the first event in the venue, the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd Hong Kong Games on May 9, and the first track-and-field event on May 16 and 17. These were followed by five athletic events for a total of 12 days of competitions. All these events were aimed at making the sports ground better equipped by testing its equipment and helping the staff conversant with the operation of its facilities, mode of operation and crowd control. This is in line with the practice of organising activities in other newly-constructed venues to test it for large-scale events.
As a project built with public funds and in accordance with the practice of making sports grounds in Hong Kong open for use upon completion, some of the tracks of the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground have been open to members of the public for jogging since early June this year.
Regarding the use of the venue, notices and banners have been put up in prominent positions informing the users that they can only wear running shoes when entering the tracks. Staff deployed at the entrance to inspect track users' footwear will deny access to the tracks by people who wear spikes and improper shoes and confine their activities to the hard-surfaced areas. And in order to reduce the erosion of the inner tracks, only the third to eighth lanes are open.
The venue staff will continue to enforce the relevant regulations vigorously to exhort improper users.
Works will begin early next week to repair protuberance on the tracks and weather permitting, it will be completed within a week. The minor repair undertaken at the venue will not affect IAAF certification. The Architectural Services Department will require the principal contractor to stringently repair the tracks according to the standards of the IAAF to ensure the tracks comply with relevant requirements.
Ends/Saturday, September 5, 2009