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October
Signature campaign backs bid for East Asian Games

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The 5th East Asian Games Bid Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Service Department will launch a signature campaign at the Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre at 9.30am on October 5 (Sunday) in support of Hong Kong's bid to host the East Asian Games in 2009.

Eleven countries or regions will compete in 13 sports in the 5th East Asian Games, making it the largest multi-sports event in Asia after the Asian Games.

The Bid Committee, formed in August by Government officials and the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC), is gearing up to present Hong Kong's case before the East Asian Games Association in Macau early November, before the Association announces its decision.

The Patron of the Bid Committee, Secretary for Home Affairs Dr Patrick Ho, said: "Hosting the East Asian Games will create job opportunities, boost tourism and enhance Hong Kong's reputation as an events capital.

"It will also increase the popularity of athletic pursuits, promote sports culture and demonstrate that Hong Kong possesses the facilities to host a world-class sports event."

The Chairman of the Bid Committee, SF&OC President Timothy Fok, said: "If the bid is successful, Hong Kong's athletic standards will rise and our athletes will go from strength to strength on the international sports scene."

Star sprinter Chiang Wai-hung, who will join dozens of top athletes in supporting the signature campaign on October 5, said: "It will be such a thrill and honour for local athletes to compete in a major international event hosted by Hong Kong. For the sake of Hong Kong's sports development, I urge the public to come and sign."

The signature booth at the Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre will be open from 9.30 to 11.30am, but the public may continue to sign their names at LCSD sports centres, swimming pools, sports grounds and Leisure Services Offices until October 26.

End/Friday, October 3, 2003

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