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Popularity of sports training scheme soars

The District Sports Teams Training Scheme, launched by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) in 2000, has proved so successful that applications to join some sports teams have increased by almost 50% this year.

Speaking at the Grand Prize Presentation Ceremony of the 2005/06 District Sports Teams Competitions at Shek Kip Mei Park Sports Centre today (March 5) Legislative Councillor Mr Tommy Cheung said the scheme had contributed greatly to sports development in the districts.

The scheme has already provided competition opportunities and intensive coaching to 11,340 young athletes in football, basketball, badminton and table tennis.

Handball and volleyball are being introduced to the scheme, opening a new avenue for young people interested in these team sports to improve their skills.

Under the District Sports Teams Training Scheme, teams are formed annually in the 18 districts with the help of relevant National Sports Associations to upgrade participants’ standard of play by means of systematic training that culminates in hotly contested inter-district matches. Importantly, it fosters a sense of identity and belonging within the districts.

Mr Cheung said that more than 130 trainees had been selected from District Basketball Teams to train with the Hong Kong Basketball Association’s Youth Squad, and District Football Teams -- funded by the 18 District Councils -- had played in the Hong Kong Football Association’s Division Leagues, with the Tai Po Football Team performing particularly well in the Second Division.

"Applications for basketball, badminton and table tennis sports teams reached an all-time high this year. We received over 5,000 applications, 1,500 more than last year, representing an increase of 49%,” he said.

Other officiating guests at the prize presentation ceremony were Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Mr Alan Siu; Chairman of the Hong Kong Basketball Association, Mr Norman Chan; and Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Badminton Association, Mr Chau Yat-kwong.

Representatives from the 18 District Councils also attended.

Prizes were presented today to the winning teams in the 2005/06 inter-district competitions in basketball, badminton and table tennis.

The winning teams were:

Inter-district Basketball Competition
Champion - Kowloon City District Basketball Team
1st runner-up - Sham Shui Po District Basketball Team
2nd runner-up - Sha Tin District Basketball Team
3rd runner-up - Wan Chai District Basketball Team

Inter-district Table Tennis Competition
Champion - Tsuen Wan District Table Tennis Team
1st runner-up - Kwai Tsing District Table Tennis Team
2nd runner-up - Eastern District Table Tennis Team
3rd runner-up - Yau Tsim Mong District Table Tennis Team

Inter-district Badminton Competition
Champion - Yuen Long District Badminton Team
1st runner-up - Eastern District Badminton Team
2nd runner-up - Central & Western District Badminton Team
3rd runner-up - Kwai Tsing District Badminton Team

Ends/Sunday, March 5, 2006
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