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2004 Water Sports Safety Campaign launched

Assistant Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Mr Paul Cheung has reminded swimmers to pay attention to their health condition and swimming skills when engaging in aquatic activities.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the 2004 Water Safety Campaign today (June 19), Mr Cheung said: "Past records show swimmers were more accident-prone when swimming and ignorant of their health condition and swimming skills."

He pointed out that swimming was one of the most popular sports in Hong Kong. Last year, more than 19 million swimmers visited the department's beaches and public pools andthere were 96 rescue cases in swimming pools and 190 in in public beaches.

"It is extremely important to promote public awareness of water sports safety with the ever increasing number of swimmers. As the management department of water sports facilities in Hong Kong, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has the responsibility to vigorously promote water sports safety to prevent accidents," he continued.

"The department and the Hong Kong Life Saving Society organise various water sports safety campaigns every year including a Poster Design Competition and a Slogan Competition for primary and secondary schools. This year, 559 students from 62 schools participated in the Poster Design Competition, while the Slogan Competition attracted 12,220 students from 212 schools," he said.

"The entries of this year's slogan competition are all very impressive. The department has chosen the champion entry of the slogan competition of the primary school section as this year's campaign slogan, 'Swim Safe, always pay attention to your health condition and swimming skills'," he added.

He also urged people to enrol in swimming classes to improve their swimming skills and young people in particular to take life-saving classes to prepare themselves.

Today's ceremony included the award presentation of the Water Sports Safety Poster Design Competition and a life-saving demonstration by the society. There were also exhibitions of winning entries in the Water Sports Safety Slogan and poster design competitions, a life-saving equipment display and game stalls at the foyer of the swimming pool.

The 2004 Water Safety Campaign, jointly organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Life Saving Society, was launched at the Kowloon Park Swimming Pool today.

Also officiating at the ceremony were the Hong Kong Life Saving Society's president Mr Steve Lau, vice-president Mr Wong Hok-yiu, and chairman Mr Anthony Chan.

Ends/Saturday, June 19, 2004
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