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April
Tough competition in easy sports
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About 2,000 primary school students who had distinguished themselves in regional competitions in "easy sports" played hard today (April 24) in the championships of the annual Inter-school Easy Sport Competition 2004. The events were held at the Shek Kip Mei Park Grass Pitch and Sports Centre.

"Easy sports" are a range of simplified sports introduced by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to give primary school students an early start in popular competitive sports.

The competition, covering 12 easy sports, was a major event of the School Sports Programme (SSP) jointly organised by the LCSD, the Education and Manpower Bureau and National Sports Associations (NSAs), and attracted another 1,000 students, parents and teachers who joined in the fun at various game stalls.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the competition, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong, said the competition provided a good opportunity for the participating students to match their sporting skills against those of students from other schools.

The SSP's wide variety of sports activities, including coaching, talks, demonstrations, sports captain training and visits to sports facilities, have been well-received by participating schools.

"Since the launch of the SSP in 2001, the number of schools taking part in the programme has increased from 600 to 950 and the number of activities organised has increased from 1,300 to 5,400. The number of students enrolled now exceeds 400,000," Ms Wong said.

New activities to be launched this year include the Outreach Coaching Programme Inter-school Competitions in basketball, canoeing, indoor rowing, triathlon and wushu.

The SSP will continue to provide progressive training and regular skill assessments for students through the Joint Schools Training Programme and the Badges Award Scheme, which lead to qualifications recognised by NSAs.

At today's ceremony, 40 outstanding athletes received certificates of appointment as School Sports Ambassadors, signifying their promise to promote sports in schools throughout the year under the SSP.

Schools interested in joining the SSP may download the enrolment form from the department's website at http://www.lcsd.gov.hk or contact its Sports Development Section on 2601 8861.

Ends/Saturday, April 24, 2004
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