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District teams nurture young football players

The "District Football Teams Training Scheme" targeted at teenagers has attracted over 1,000 applicants in 2006/07 and some 900 of them were recruited to receive systematic training leading to the Inter-district Football Competition.

Launched by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) in 2000, the training scheme provides intensive training for youngsters with basic football skills and forms football teams in 18 districts every year.

The training scheme is divided into two age groups, those aged below 17 and those below 20.

Competitions form an important part of the "District Football Teams Training Scheme" and all trainees have to take part in the Nike Premier Cup Youth Football League as part of the training.

Over the past seven years, the scheme has produced a number of outstanding football players, some of whom were invited to play in the HKFA's Third "District" Division.

About 80 matches have been conducted for the 2006/07 Inter-district Football Competition. At the finals held today (June 3) at the Mong Kok Stadium. Sham Shui Po played against Yuen Long in the under-17 group and Sham Shui Po played against Sha Tin in the under-20 group.

Sham Shui Po won the Championship in the under-20 group, followed by Sha Tin as first runner up, Tai Po as second runner up and Wong Tai Sin as third runner up.

Sham Shui Po also won the Championship in the under-17 group, with the first, second and third runners-up going to Yuen Long, Southern District and Sai Kung respectively.

Presenting prizes to the winning teams were Chief Leisure Manager (Sports Development) of Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Ms Annie Choy; member of the Youth and Technical Development Task Force of the HKFA, Mr Kwok Ka-ming; Senior Brand Initiative Manager of Nike Hong Kong Limited, Mr Vincent Lai, and representatives of district sports associations and District Councils.

Enrolment for the 2007-08 training scheme will start in September 2007, and training will begin in November. People who are interested in the training scheme can obtain application forms at the District Leisure Services Offices of the LCSD and the HKFA or dial 2711 1921.

Ends/Sunday, June 3, 2007
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