The following was issued by the Home Affairs Bureau:
The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, visited the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground today (November 27) to inspect the progress of the construction work.
The Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground is the main venue for track and field events of the 2009 East Asian Games. It will also be the venue for the opening ceremony as well as track and field events for the 2nd Hong Kong Games to be held in May 2009.
Mr Tsang said that in addition to the construction of the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, the Government was upgrading 13 sports venues to tie in with the staging of the East Asian Games. The upgrading works, together with the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground project, cost about $1 billion and has created about 1,000 jobs.
Apart from the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, the redevelopment of the Hong Kong Sports Institute is another of the Government’s major sports venue projects to provide local athletes with training facilities of international standards. The project costs about $1.8 billion and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2011. The project will create about 1,000 jobs.
"The completion of all these projects will provide members of the public with sports facilities of higher quality and help improve the community's sports standards, further promoting sports development in Hong Kong," Mr Tsang added.
"In addition to hardware, we also attach great importance to improving the standard of our athletes. Through the Sports Subvention Scheme, funding is provided for national sports associations to organise training programmes for Hong Kong teams and for athletes to participate in international competitions. We have also allocated about $20 million as funding for preparing the East Asian Games, to enhance training resources and enable more athletes to gain experience in international competitions," Mr Tsang said.
He noted that apart from the one-year countdown celebration to be held on December 5, the Government would organise a series of activities in the coming year to promote the East Asian Games and increase the public's understanding of the competition events. The activities will include issuing souvenir stamps, the 100-day countdown, school seminars, roving exhibitions and a number of district promotional activities.
The construction cost of the 5.9-hectare Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground is about $400 million. As a major sports venue project, the construction work began in April 2006 and is expected to be completed by early 2009. It is designed and built in accordance with the standards of the International Association of Athletics Federations for international track and field events.
The venue comprises a main sports ground, a warm-up secondary sports ground and other facilities for large-scale international competitions. Facilities in the main sports ground include an eight-lane and 400-metre long all-weather synthetic running track, a javelin-throw circle, high jump take-off runways and pits, long jump and triple jump runways and pits, a pole-vault runway and landing area, steeple chase facilities, a hammer and discus cage, a shot-put throwing area, an 11-a-side natural football pitch up to the standards of the Federation Internationale de Football Association, a covered spectator stand with a seating capacity of about 3,500 and spaces for a temporary spectator stand with 1,500 seats.
The secondary sports ground, which is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, includes warm-up track and field facilities and a seven-a-side natural turf football pitch. Other ancillary facilities include doping control rooms, weight-lifting rooms, control rooms, media facilities, and facilities for organising events and conferences as well as holding training exercises.
After touring the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, Mr Tsang today also visited a temporary cycling park at Tiu Keng Leng and the Tseung Kwan O Public Library.
The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing (first right), toured the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground to learn about the features of the spectator stands.
The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing (second right), accompanied by the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow (first right), listens to a briefing by government department staff on the progress of work on the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground project at the main sports ground.
Full view of the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground.
Ends/Thursday, November 27, 2008