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Twelve finalists in Bun Scrambling Competition

The selection process to shortlist the 12 finalists for the Bun Scrambling Competition to be held at midnight on May 16, was completed this afternoon (May 1).

The competition is jointly organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee.

The 41 participants in the selection progress had attended training courses organised by the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union. They were divided into six groups. The 12 participants who climbed to the top of the bun tower in the shortest time qualified for a place in the Bun Scrambling Competition.

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, visited Cheung Chau today to see the selection process as well as get a better understanding of the design, construction and safety standard of the bun tower.

Dr Ho said he was glad to see that the bun scrambling event could be revived this year. “It had been a traditional activity and I am sure people will be excited to again take part in it.

“The Government always show support to stage various kinds of traditional activities.

“Since the organising committee was formed last year, the LCSD has been active in co-ordinating the relevant government departments to ensure the bun scrambling activity is staged in an orderly and safe manner.”

Dr Ho thanked the relevant government departments and local community groups for their contributions in getting the activity going again.

After inspecting the bun tower, Dr Ho said there would be a new arrangement for holding the bun scrambling competition this year. The traditional elements of the activity will be preserved, and modern technology has also been injected into the climbing method and the design of the bun tower.

Regarding the design, structure and safety of the bun tower, the LCSD’s Structural Engineer (Leisure Services), Ms Hedy Huang explained that the bun tower measured about 14 metres in height and three metres in diameter. The tower’s concrete foundation was designed and built by the Architectural Services Department, while the steel frame was constructed by a contractor commissioned by the LCSD.

“The whole bun tower is covered by bamboo sticks to retain its traditional outlook,” Ms Huang said.

She added that the design and structure of the bun tower has already been certified by the registered structural engineer.

Meanwhile, on the advice of the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union, for the sake of safety, the maximum number of participants for climbing the bun tower at one time is limited to 12. The participants must wear self-locked ascenders. Safety matting will be placed at the bottom of the bun tower and members of the public are not allowed to stay within three metres from the bun tower.

Dr Ho said the Bun Scrambling Competition was very challenging and participants would have to do their best to achieve their goal.”

The “2005 Bun Festival” is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the LCSD, with the assistance of the Cheung Chau Wai Chiu County Association Limited, the Cheung Chau Rural Committee, the Islands District Office of the Home Affairs Department and the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union and is sponsored by the Islands District Council.

While the Bun Scrambling Competition will be the highlight of the “2005 Bun Festival”, other interesting activities include the climbing play-in and carnival to be staged on May 7 and 8.

Ends/Sunday, May 1, 2005
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