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SHA hosts welcome dinner for EAGA delegates

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, reaffirmed Hong Kong's determination to make the East Asian Games in 2009 a true success at a welcome dinner he hosted for the delegates to the 22nd East Asian Games Association (EAGA) Council Meeting tonight (June 17).

Earlier in the day, delegates from the nine member places held the council's first meeting in Hong Kong since the city took over the hosting right of the 2009 Games.

Dr Ho said that the opportunity to host its first large-scale international multi-sports games helped sustain Hong Kong's position as Asia's world city and a major events capital in the region.

"We will invest over HK$1 billion to equip our sports facilities for hosting the event," he said.

"We have also gained great support from local dignitaries and the commercial sector who are very forthcoming and generous in sponsoring and supporting the 2009 Games."

Dr Ho took the opportunity to appeal to members of the EAG family to send their top athletes to the 2009 Games.

Acting Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Michael Suen, was the guest of honour at tonight's dinner.

Mr Suen accepted sponsorship cheques for the 2009 EAG from Mr Lam Tai Fai, Dr Hung Cho-hong and Ir Pang Kam-chun from Chun Wo Holdings Ltd, which brought the amount of cash sponsorship received so far to $26 million.

Mr Suen also presented souvenirs to these and other sponsors, including Dr Stanley Ho, Dr Lam Sai-wing of 3D-GOLD Jewellery, Mr Ng Sau-kei, Mr Lee Man-chun and Mr Tang Kam-hung of the Yuen Yuen Institute, who offered sponsorship last year.

Other guests included the Chairman of the 5thh EAG Planning Committee, Mr Timothy Fok; Vice-president of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Mr Cai Zhenhua; and the women's 10,000 metres gold medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Xing Huina.

Mr Cai and Xing took the opportunity to pledge support for the 2009 EAG and wished Hong Kong every success with the event.

The evening's guests were entertained by a Shaolin Wushu demonstration by martial arts monks from Songshan, China.

Ends/Saturday, June 17, 2006

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