The 12th National Games of the People's Republic of China (12th National Games), scheduled as a 13-day event, will be held in Liaoning Province from 31 August to 12 September 2013. In December last year, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) set up an Organising Committee of the HKSAR Delegation (OC) to handle all matters pertaining to the participation of the HKSAR Delegation (Delegation) in the Games. The OC is chaired by Mr Timothy FOK and consists of 12 members from the sports sector, the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, the Home Affairs Bureau and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). The LCSD has assumed the Secretariat duties of the OC. To carry out the co-ordination and organisation work for the Delegation more efficiently, an Appeal Board and an Executive Committee (EC) have been set up under the OC. The EC has also invited four veterans of the sports sector to join as co-opted members in order to draw on their expert advice to improve the organisation work.
According to the regulations set by the General Administration of Sport of China, while the HKSAR Delegation has been granted direct entry to the finals of some of the sports events, the places for the finals for the remaining events have to be secured through participating in the preliminary rounds of competitions. From March to June, the Delegation sent a total of 252 athletes to take part in the preliminary rounds of 12 sports, namely water polo, archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, football, handball, hockey, rugby, table tennis, tennis (singles events) and beach volleyball. A total of 80 athletes have successfully gained entry to the finals of 7 sports.
For those events that have been granted direct entry to the finals, the EC had finished vetting the lists of athletes nominated by National Sports Associations according to the selection criteria endorsed by the OC. Together with those who have secured final places through the preliminary rounds, Hong Kong will send a total of 223 athletes to compete in 20 final events of the 12th National Games, namely swimming, archery, athletics, badminton, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, golf, gymnastics, men's handball, judo, rugby, windsurfing, shooting, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, beach volleyball and wushu (taolu). The total number of delegation members reaches 327, with 104 team officials and medical staff being included.
This is the fifth time for the HKSAR to compete in this major sports event since our first participation in the 8th National Games in 1997. The National Games is a high level sports event that attracts elite athletes from across the country, offering keen competitions comparable to those in the Olympic Games. It is a remarkable achievement for our athletes to perform well and win a number of medals in the previous National Games, which owes much to the athletes’ persistent efforts, the coaching team’s full backing as well as the support from the public and various sectors of the community. It is encouraging that the response to the sponsorship invitation of the Delegation to the 12th National Games has been very positive. With the slogan “Excel to Win”, the Delegation will strive for the best performance to bring honour to Hong Kong.