The LCSD is responsible for maintaining and running facilities that meet the recreational and sporting needs of all Hong Kong residents. It manages Hong Kong's 26 major parks and 705 children's playgrounds, 41 gazetted beaches, and 43 swimming pools. It also runs four holiday camps and five water sports centres in Hong Kong.
Other sports facilities managed by the LCSD include two large-scale outdoor stadia and 25 sports grounds, along with 96 sports centres. It also maintains 236 hard-surface soccer pitches, as well as 41 natural turf pitches and 38 artificial turf pitches for this sport. There are also one rugby and two hockey pitches, 256 tennis courts, four golf driving ranges, and 294 squash courts. Details of all these facilities can be found in Appendix 7 of this report.
The LCSD manages some 1 560 parks and gardens of different sizes, including the following major parks:
Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park covers 8.16 hectares. Its major attractions include a conservatory, an aviary, a squash centre, a sports centre, a children's playground, a vantage point, a restaurant, and Olympic Square.
The aviary, simulating a tropical rainforest, is home to around 600 birds of 70 different species. Several of these species bred successfully during the year, specifically the Bali Myna, the Java Sparrow, the Hwamei and the Pied Imperial Pigeon. The conservatory comprises a Display Plant House, a Dry Plant House and a Humid Plant House, all including environmental controls to simulate climatic conditions for plants from arid and tropical regions. An Exhibition on Succulents was held in the Display Plant House from December 2015 to January 2016. Around 80 species of succulents were put on display, including species such as Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, Crassula portulacea cv. Golum and Kalanchoe tomentosa.
Covering an area of over 19 hectares, Victoria Park is the largest park on Hong Kong Island and one of the most well-used parks in Hong Kong. In addition to many passive facilities such as its central lawn, bandstand and pebble walking trail, the park offers several popular sports facilities including soccer pitches, basketball courts, handball cum volleyball courts, roller skating rinks, a bowling green, fitness stations, and jogging trails.
One important sports facility in the park is the swimming pool complex, which provides a 50 x 25 metre main pool and a 33 x 25 metre multi-purpose pool. Both are of a standard suitable for hosting international competitions, but are also excellent options for general public swimming. Nearby, another facility suitable for large-scale and international tournaments is the Victoria Park Tennis Court, equipped with 14 tennis courts and a spectator stand with over 3 600 seats.
Apart from being an attractive venue for sports and leisure activities, the park is also a popular spot for community events that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, such as the annual Lunar New Year Fair, the Hong Kong Flower Show, and the Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival.
The 13.3-hectare Kowloon Park served as a military camp during the 1860s, and took its present shape in 1989. Located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, it is the largest park in Kowloon and provides an array of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, including a hard-surface soccer pitch, a sports centre and a swimming pool complex.
The park also has a number of attractive gardens and walks, which include a Water Garden, a Sculpture Garden and a Woodland Walk. The Sculpture Walk features permanent and temporary displays by both local and overseas artists, including the Concept of Newton, a permanent sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi. A 240-metre tree walk introduces 35 of Hong Kong's most common flowering tree species.
Another significant attraction is the landscaped bird lake and aviary, with its flock of more than 100 flamingos and many other bird species.
The park hosts a number of major events throughout the year, including the Kung Fu Corner and Arts Fun Fair, held on Sundays and/or public holidays. Regular morning birdwatching activities are organised to introduce the public to common bird species in the park. District-wide community events such as carnivals, outdoor exhibitions and entertainment events are regularly held in the piazza, attracting hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists over the year.
Tai Po Waterfront Park
The 22-hectare Tai Po Waterfront Park is the largest park managed by the department. Its 32-metre Spiral Lookout Tower offers visitors a panoramic view of Tolo Harbour and the surroundings. Other facilities include a 1 000-metre promenade, an insect house, an amphitheatre, a central water feature, a sheltered viewing terrace, children's play areas, bowling greens, a gateball court, and a kite-flying area. The park also has a number of themed gardens, including a Floral Display Garden, a Scented Garden, a Malvaceae Garden, a Western Garden, an Ecological Garden, a Palm Garden, a Herb Garden, a Fig Garden and a Camellia Garden.
Tuen Mun Park
Built on reclaimed land, the 12.5-hectare Tuen Mun Park holds more than 2 000 trees and 120 000 shrubs of various species. The one-hectare artificial lake is a popular spot, as is the Reptile House, which attracted 350 997 visitors in 2015-16, including 27 096 group visitors.
Other facilities include a water cascade, a model boat pool, an amphitheatre, a roller-skating rink, three children's playgrounds, a conservation corner, a sitting-out area for the elderly, four pebble walking trails, pavilions, and a multi-game area.
Tamar Park, adjacent to the new Central Government Offices and the Legislative Council Complex, covers an area of around 1.76 hectares. The park has been opening to the public in phases since October 2011. It includes a landscaped garden, water features, a floating platform, an amphitheatre, Tamar Corner, and Tamar Café. Its spacious green lawns provide valuable inner-city open space and offer broad views of Victoria Harbour.
The LCSD has responded to the increase in the number of dog owners in Hong Kong by opening more pet gardens. At present, 41 of its leisure venues include pet gardens, and the department is continuing to identify suitable sites for more, in consultation with District Councils.
In 2015-16, three new pet gardens were opened to the public; they are located in the Tung Hei Road Sitting-out Area, the Hong Cheung Street Sitting-out Area, and the Tin Yip Road Sitting-out Area.
Kwun Tong Promenade (Stage II)
As a part of the Kai Tak Development, the Kwun Tong Promenade (Stage II) covers an area of 3.4 hectares and links with Stage I of the promenade, extending the waterfront boardwalk to a length of nearly one kilometre. It has been open for public use since May 2015. To reflect its history as a cargo handling area, art installations in the form of a mechanical crane and bundles of recycled paper have been added at the site. The landscaped area of the promenade is equipped with active lighting and sound features, as well as a special mist display. Kwun Tong Promenade (Stage II) also provides a wide array of leisure facilities, including a sensory garden, fitness stations, an elderly fitness corner, a children's play area, a viewing pavilion, and a waterfront tree walk. Together, these have helped create another popular public leisure facility for Kwun Tong District.
Ngau Tau Kok Park
The Ngau Tau Kok Park, adjacent to Ngau Tau Kok Lower Estate, was opened to the public in December 2015. Occupying an area of about two hectares, the park provides a seven-a-side hard surface soccer pitch, a children's play area, a jogging track, a fitness station and an elderly fitness area.
Tiu Keng Leng Sports Centre
The Tiu Keng Leng Sports Centre was opened in phases since April 2015 and quickly established itself as one of the most popular sports centres in Sai Kung District. The sports centre includes a multi-purpose arena with a seating capacity of 1 200 that is suitable for large-scale events, and which can be configured as two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, or eight badminton courts. It also houses six multi-purpose activity rooms, a children's play room, a fitness room with 39 sets of fitness equipment, a 150-meter indoor jogging track, an outdoor climbing wall and other ancillary facilities. The one-hectare open space outside the sports centre provides facilities such as a landscaped sitting-out area, a children's playground, a fitness corner for the elderly, and a variety of fitness stations.
Beaches and Swimming Pools
Hong Kong people made more than 13.25 million visits to beaches and 13.47 million visits to public swimming pools managed by the department in 2015-16.
To promote water sports safety, the department co-organised a series of campaigns and activities during the year in collaboration with the Hong Kong Life Saving Society and other relevant government departments.
The department also organised a swimming pool cleaning campaign for children and their parents.
Water Sports Centres and Holiday Camps
The LCSD manages five water sports centres (Chong Hing, Stanley Main Beach, St Stephen's Beach, Tai Mei Tuk and the Jockey Club Wong Shek) and four holiday camps (Lady MacLehose Holiday Village, Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre, Tso Kung Tam Outdoor Recreation Centre, and Lei Yue Mun Park). During the year, 128 000 people participated in programmes at the water sports centres, while 506 294 enjoyed the facilities at the holiday camps. The department also organises evening camps so that people can participate in activities outside office hours. A total of 36 111 people took part in these during 2015-16.
Hong Kong Stadium, with a capacity of 40 000, is a major venue for sports and community events. With full financial and technical support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, in April 2015 the Stadium was closed for a Turf Pitch Reconstruction Project to enhance the long-term quality and durability of the turf pitch. The new pitch was reopened in time for the Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier on November 7 and 8, 2015. Eight events were held at the Stadium during the rest of the year, attracting 41 000 spectators.
Mong Kok Stadium, reopened in 2011 after redevelopment, has a seating capacity of 6 668, and serves as one of the main venues for the Hong Kong Premier League and as the training ground for the national football squad. A total of 73 events were held at the stadium in 2015-16, including the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association World Cup Qualifiers, the Asian Football Confederation Cup, and the 38th Guangdong-Hong Kong Cup. A total of 348 751 patrons visited the venue this year.
Hong Kong Velodrome
Opened in April 2014, the Hong Kong Velodrome provides a 250-metre indoor cycling track with a seating capacity of 3 000 and supporting facilities that meet international standards, together with a multi-purpose arena. It also incorporates sports facilities that include a fitness room, a table-tennis room, a dance room and a children's playroom. The velodrome has become an important training base for the Hong Kong Cycling Team. It is also serving to host various large-scale and high-level track-cycling competitions, such as the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, which was held at the Hong Kong Velodrome for three days from January 15, 2016. This was the first time that this world-class cycling event was hosted in Hong Kong, and it attracted the participation of over 300 elite cyclists from 39 countries and regions.
Venue Management Initiatives and Improvements
The department's Leisure Link System enables members of the public to book leisure facilities and enrol in community recreation and sports programmes either online, over the telephone, or at booking counters throughout the territory. A network of self-service kiosks allow people to access Leisure Link using their Smart Identity Cards, and to pay for services by Octopus card. Currently 47 LCSD venues have self-service kiosks, with nine on Hong Kong Island, 15 in Kowloon, and 23 in the New Territories.
Counter services are provided at 158 recreational venues. These are available for members of the public to book facilities, enrol in recreational programmes and get help with queries regarding facilities and sports programmes.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at Land-based Venues
The department has continued to install AEDs at all fee charging and non-fee charging land-based facilities with active sports facilities, and at all cultural venues. Public access is available in emergencies. A total of 272 land-based venues, 87 aquatic venues and 67 cultural venues have now been provided with AEDs. We continue to review the provision of AEDs at leisure and cultural venues, and are considering installing more AEDs at other popular venues, with priority being given to waterfront promenades that attract large numbers of visitors.
Work Improvement Teams
By the end of March 2016, the department had set up 283 Work Improvement Teams at district leisure venues, each tasked with carrying out self-initiated and departmental improvements. Given the success of this scheme, the department will continue to support the work of these teams at all major leisure venues, including holiday camps, water sports centres, swimming pools, beaches, sports centres, parks and playgrounds.
Free Use Scheme
The Free Use Scheme continues in 2015-16 with an aim to maximise the use of certain recreational facilities by allowing eligible organisations free access to the main arenas and activity rooms of all sports centres, squash courts, hockey pitches, outdoor bowling greens and obstacle golf courses between opening and 5 pm on weekdays (except public holidays) from September 1 to June 30 of the following year. Eligible organisations include schools, National Sports Associations, district sports associations and subvented non-governmental organisations.
Facilities for National Sports Associations
The department provides National Squad Training Centres for 38 associations, giving a wide range of training opportunities for individual athletes and national squads.