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Awards for corporate sponsors of major sports events

Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Thomas Tso, today (February 21) presented awards to the corporate sponsors of five locally staged major sports events to acknowledge their contribution towards strengthening Hong Kong's position as a major sports events capital.

Receiving awards were the sponsors of the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open Badminton Championships, Cathay Pacific Credit Suisse Privilege World Squash Open 2005, UBS Hong Kong Open Championship 2005, Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2006 and Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens 2006.

Mr Tso also presented awards to the relevant National Sports Associations which organised these events.

These major events, four of which have already been successfully held, received the "M" mark endorsement under the "M" Mark System and Support Packages launched in November, 2004, by the Major Sports Events Committee (MSEC) of the Sports Commission, and aimed at helping major sports events evolve into market-oriented and sustainable events.

Events awarded the "M" mark are entitled to tailor-made support packages which may include advice from the MSEC's Advisory Panel, logistics support from government departments, and enhanced local and overseas opportunities.

Funding support, which can be applied for during the first three years of an event, comes in the form of an interest-free loan, matching fund or direct grant.

During today's awards presentation ceremony, the Chairman of the MSEC, Mr Herman Hu, announced the establishment of a Core Sponsor Group (CSG) comprising corporations which had expressed interest in sponsoring major sports events.

The MSEC will match these potential sponsors with existing and potential major sports events.

"We hope the CSG will establish closer ties between the commercial sector and the sports community and will act as a platform for commercial organisations to lend support to major sports events," Mr Hu said.

Forty organisations have signed up as the founding members of the CSG and their representatives received certificates of appreciation from the MSEC today.

These organisations include the Hong Kong Jockey Club, financial institutions, hotels and sporting goods dealers.

Ends/Tuesday, February 21, 2006
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