Promoting Sports in the Community
We have been promoting community sports to encourage the public to participate in various types of sports activities and build a sports culture in the community, helping them develop a healthy lifestyle and enhance their overall quality of life.
Promotion of sports in the community accounted for a majority of the Government's recurrent expenditure on sports development. In 2017-18, 86% of our recurrent expenditure on sports development, or $4.2 billion, was allocated to this objective.
The Home Affairs Bureau and other government departments as well as related organisations, including the LCSD, the Department of Health, the Education Bureau, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC), “national sports associations” (NSAs), district sports associations, other sports organisations and schools provide a wide range of community sports activities at various levels, encouraging people of different backgrounds, age groups, abilities and interests to participate in sports activities regularly, so as to promote the culture of “Sport for All”.
Promotion of Community Sports
The LCSD organises a wide variety of recreation and sports programmes in the 18 districts for different target groups every year to encourage the public to develop the habit of exercising regularly. These activities include community-level activities (such as sports training courses, competitions and recreation activities), the annual Sport for All Day, and the biennial Hong Kong Games, Corporate Games and Masters Games. In the past three years, the LCSD has organised over 110 000 community recreation and sports programmes, attracting patronage of 7.40 million people. In 2018-19, the LCSD will organise some 38 500 programmes for about 2.34 million participants, involving an estimated expenditure of $189 million.
The LCSD organises recreation and sports activities to cater to the needs of people of different age groups, abilities and interests, including the elderly and persons with disabilities. For the fee charging policy, students, the elderly, persons with disabilities and the accompanying carers are eligible for concessionary rate for enrolment in programmes and the use of facilities.
(a) Major Promotion Campaigns
Healthy Exercise for All Campaign
The "Healthy Exercise for All Campaign" is a territory-wide event jointly organised by the LCSD and the Department of Health since April 2000, with the slogan of “Daily exercise keeps us fit. People of all ages can do it”. By organising large-scale promotional programmes and various recreation and sports activities as well as using different promotion channels, the Campaign raises the public's interest in doing exercise, promotes the benefits of regular exercise to health, and encourages the public to build exercise into their daily life and develop a family culture of regular exercise.
Sport for All Day
The "Sport for All Day" has been organised by the LCSD in August every year since 2009 for continuous promotion of community sports. Various recreation and sports programmes are offered at designated venues in the 18 districts, and most of the leisure facilities of the LCSD are open for public use, all free of charge. The “Sports for All Day 2017” attracted participation of more than 230 000 citizens. The “Sports for All Day 2018” was held on 5th August 2018, with Chinese shuttlecock as the focal sport.
(b) Multi-sport Games
Hong Kong Games
The Sports Commission has organised the Hong Kong Games (HKG) biennially since 2007. The HKG is a territory-wide major multi-sport event with the 18 District Councils as participating units. The objectives of the HKG are to provide districts with more opportunities for sports participation, exchanges and co-operation, and to encourage active public participation in sports. Apart from improving sporting standards at the district level, the HKG can also strengthen the public’s sense of belonging to the district they live in and help promote community cohesion through facilitating communication and fostering friendship among the 18 districts. The 7th HKG will be held from April to June 2019.
The Masters Games , organised by the LCSD biennially, offers participants aged 35 or above the opportunity to compete against people of similar age to sustain their interest in sports activities.
The biennial Corporate Games organised by the LCSD is a major multi-sport event, which aims to encourage the working population to exercise regularly in order to stay healthy and fit to cope with the challenges at work, while promoting team spirit and strengthening a sense of belonging to their organisations through participation in competitions. We also hope that the Games can promote “Sport For All” and build an energetic and healthy community.
District Sports Programmes Funding Scheme
To strengthen the promotion of sports at districts and to encourage wider participation, the Government announced in the 2018-19 Budget an allocation of $100 million to launch the five-year District Sports Programmes Funding Scheme to provide additional resources for the 21 district sports associations in the 18 districts of the territory to organise more sports programmes, thereby building a strong sports culture in the community. The Five-year District Sports Programme Funding Scheme would be launched in 2020.
Sports Subvention Scheme
The LCSD provides subvention to eligible NSAs through the Sports Subvention Scheme to promote and develop the respective sports. The subvented programmes include:
- overseas and local international events;
- squad training programmes;
- development schemes (including sports training programmes, schools sports programmes, local competitions, community sports club project); and
- training for officials and international sports conferences.
Promotion of School Sports
To foster students’ interest in sports and promote a sports culture in schools, in addition to the existing physical education curriculum, various government departments and organisations have been committed to promoting sports activities in schools and the community. These activities are conducted as extracurricular activities to encourage regular participation of students and increase the amount of activities for enhancement of physical fitness and building an active and healthy lifestyle.
(a) School Sports Programme
The LCSD has implemented the School Sports Programme (SSP) since 2001. The SSP is organised by various NSAs, subvented by the LCSD and co-organised by the Education Bureau, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Baptist University. The activities of the SSP are organised in line with schools’ daily schedules to enable students of primary, secondary and special schools to participate in the sports activities during their leisure time in schools. The SSP aims to provide students with more opportunities to participate in sports, encourage students to participate in sports on a regular basis, raise the sport performance standard among students and identify potential student athletes for further training. 90% of schools in the territory have joined the SSP in the 2017/18 school year. The number of participating students exceeds 630 000.
(b) School Sports Promotion Coordinators
School Sports Promotion Coordinators (SSPC) has been rolled out since 2012. It has been now integrated into the Retired Athletes Transformation Scheme of the Home Affairs Bureau and is supported by the LCSD, the Education Bureau and the Hong Kong Sports Institute Limited (HKSI). In the 2018/19 school year, 36 retired athletes are employed as School Sports Promotion Coordinators to help schools promote sports and enhance the level of sports in schools; as well as receive on-the-job training to develop their second career.
(c) Student Athlete Support Scheme
In the 2013/14 school year, the Home Affairs Bureau collaborated with the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation (HKSSF) and introduced the Pilot Scheme for Student Athlete Support with the objective of helping students with financial needs to develop their potential in sports and pursue their sporting goals. The Scheme was enhanced, regularised and renamed as Student Athlete Support Scheme in the 2016/17 school year. The Scheme subsidises students with financial needs in the purchase of personal sports equipment, transportation costs of attending trainings of the HKSSF and participating in competitions, school squad coaching fees as well as course fees and transportation costs for participating in the Outreach Coaching Programme (school squad training) and Joint School Sports Training Programme of HKSSF sports under the School Sports Programme of the LCSD. Since the launch of the Scheme, the number of participating schools has increased from 363 in the 2013/14 school year to 630 in the 2017/18 school year. About $27 million has been allocated in the past five years and the number of beneficiaries has exceeded 70 000.
(d) Opening up School Facilities for Promotion of Sports Development Scheme
The Home Affairs Bureau and the Education Bureau jointly launched the Opening up School Facilities for Promotion of Sports Development Scheme to encourage schools to open up their facilities to sports organisations for organising sports activities through a provision of additional subsidy. The objectives are to increase the provision of sports facilities, while enhancing the sports culture in schools and encouraging students to develop a healthy sporting habit.
For details, please refer to Education Bureau Circular Memorandum No. 103/2019 on “Opening up School Facilities for Promotion of Sports Development Scheme” (Application for the 2019/20 School Year)”: http://applications.edb.gov.hk/circular/upload/EDBCM/EDBCM19103E.pdf
(e) Schools Sports Competitions
The Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation (HKSSF) is one of the main stakeholders in promoting sporting activities for youth, and is also one of the sports organisations subsidised by the LCSD. Over 95% of the schools in Hong Kong are registered members of the HKSSF. The HKSSF’s work includes organising inter-primary school and inter-secondary school sport competitions, Jing Ying, Inter-port as well as international school sports competitions, covering over 20 sports and providing students athletes a platform for sports competition. The HKSSF also collaborates with the NSAs and establishes a system of athletes training to raise the standard and performance of the student representatives in Inter-port, Asian and World competitions, which is an important element of nurturing young athletes.
Territory-wide Physical Fitness Survey for the Community
Physical fitness is closely related to health condition and physical activity level. Physical fitness of citizens could also reflect their participation in sports which is in turn an important indicator of the effectiveness of our work in promoting sports in the community. To continuously monitor the physical condition of our citizens and identify high risks groups for non-communicable diseases, the Chief Executive proposed in her Policy Agenda 2018 to conduct a territory-wide longitudinal Physical Fitness Survey for the Community in 2019-20 to build a database on physical fitness of the public. This would facilitate the formulation of long-term targets and measures to promote sports in the community, development of healthy lifestyle, as well as prevention and early intervention of diseases through collaboration with relevant bureaux and departments (such as the Education Bureau, the Food and Health Bureau and the Department of Health).
Development of Football in Hong Kong
Since 2015-16, the Home Affairs Bureau has allocated a maximum of $25 million annually to the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) for the implementation of the Five-Year Strategic Plan (the Plan) for a time limited period of five years. The funding aims to enhance the HKFA’s administrative and technical capabilities in promoting the development of local football. As at the end of March 2018, the Home Affairs Bureau has totally provided more than $62 million for implementing the Plan.
Since the 2011/12 football season, the Homes Affairs Bureau has implemented the District Football Funding Scheme (DFFS) to provide funding support to 18 district-based teams which aims to help them improve their performance and enhance their governance. The funding can be used to cover the core expenses including coaching, transportation, equipment, administrative staff, etc. The level of funding allocated to each district team is determined by its league position. From the 2018/19 football season onwards, the maximum level of funding allocated to each league division is $1.65 million for Hong Kong Premier League, $0.55 million for the First Division, $0.385 million for the Second Division and $0.33 million for the Third Division respectively. For the 2018/19 football season, the Home Affairs Bureau has earmarked over $10 million for implementing the DFFS.
Promotion of Sports for Persons with Disabilities
The Government attaches great importance to the development of sports for persons with disabilities (PWDs). To enhance the support for participation in sports by PWDs, the HAB commissioned a consultancy study on how to support athletes with disabilities (AWDs) and promote sports participation by PWDs in a more comprehensive manner. Upon completion of the consultancy study in mid-2016, we launched a public consultation. Based on recommendations of the consultancy report and comments received in the public consultation, we developed in collaboration with various stakeholders (including relevant disability NSAs, LCSD, HKSI, etc.) a work plan for taking forward various initiatives in promoting disability sports.
We have been implementing various measures by phases for supporting AWDs and promoting participation in sports by PWDs in accordance with the work plan. One of the key measures is launching a pilot scheme on “Elite Vote Support System for Disability Sports” to provide AWDs with the opportunity of receiving full-time training and additional financial and programme support for elite disability sports. On the promotion of participation in sports by PWDs, the HAB and the LCSD have implemented various initiatives including the following key measures –
- launching a dedicated webpage on the LCSD’s website to provide a one stop information platform on recreation and sports programmes for PWDs;
- launching priority venue booking arrangements and enhancing ancillary facilities to facilitate participating organisations to organise sports activities suitable for PWDs;
- introducing cross-district enrolment arrangements for PWDs to allow them to enrol at any LCSD’s District Leisure Services Offices and 162 Leisure Link Outlets for recreation and sports activities to be held in all 18 districts in the territory;
- organising about 70 additional activities especially for PWDs and launching a series of sports training programmes for PWDs in the seven districts with a larger population of PWDs on a pilot basis; launching a series of diversified sports training programmes on a pilot basis for about 430 persons with different types of disabilities; providing about 110 tailor-made programmes for some 5 300 students from special schools; continuing to organise events specifically for PWDs in the Hong Kong Games;
- launching outreach recreation and sports programmes at workshops or centres for PWDs with the aim of helping PWDs develop a healthy sporting habit; and
- enhancing the training for coaches to strengthen their basic knowledge and practical skills so as to enable them to provide training for PWDs on sports activities in a safe and appropriate manner.
Five-Year Development Programme for Team Sports
The Home Affairs Bureau has implemented the Five-Year Development Programme for Team Sports in January 2018, which covers 8 team sports with team size of 5 or more featuring in the 2018 Asian Games, namely baseball, basketball, handball, hockey, ice hockey, softball, volleyball and water polo. The Programme provides additional funding to the 8 relevant NSAs to formulate and implement training programmes for Hong Kong to compete in the Asian Games. It also provides financial support of $4,000 per month to each of the 200 and more members of the Hong Kong teams. This Programme aims to help enhance the performance of team sports progressively, and increase their chances of attaining elite sports status in future.
The 8 NSAs would receive additional funding ranging from $420,000 to $700,000 or more for each team per year according to the number of team members and performance in the 2018 Asian Games. The training plans, use of funding and the list of Hong Kong team members are available on the respective NSAs’ official websites.