Hong Kong people enjoy access to a wide range of recreational,
sports and cultural facilities. Many of these are built and managed
by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The main objective
of the department is to enrich the community's quality of life through
the promotion and provision of recreational, sports and cultural
facilities and activities.
RECREATION, sport and the arts provide opportunities for the people of
Hong Kong to enrich the quality of their lives. The Government aims to
nurture an environment in which freedom of creativity, pluralistic development
of the arts, sporting excellence and recreation for the community can
The Government's policies on sport, recreation, culture
and heritage matters are coordinated by the Home Affairs Bureau. A number
of expert bodies contribute to the development of these policies, including
the Hong Kong Sports Development Board, the Culture and Heritage Commission,
the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Antiquities Advisory Board.
The continued development of Hong Kong's sporting
and artistic culture is in part entrusted to the Hong Kong Sports Development
Board and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, both of which are statutory
bodies. These two organisations have continued to implement plans for
the development of their respective fields. Specific projects have been
funded by grants from the $300 million Arts and Sport Development Fund,
which was set up in 1997 to help the board and the council implement the
initiatives in their strategic plans. The Home Affairs Bureau is now reviewing
the overall sports policy in Hong Kong. A Sports Policy Review report
was published for public consultation in May, and the bureau is considering
the way forward in the light of comments received.
In the field of sport and recreation, the Leisure
and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) is responsible for promoting and
developing recreation and sport at the community level. In 2003, the department
continued to coordinate the provision of high-quality recreational and
sports facilities and to support and organise training programmes and
sports competitions so that talented individuals could be identified and
sports standards improved.
The department also works closely with the District
Councils, the National Sports Associations under the Sports Federation
and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, district sports associations
and schools to promote the concept of 'Sport-for-All' and to encourage
people of all ages and from all walks of life to participate in sports
and recreational activities.
The sports promotion and development programmes in
2003 included the Young Athletes Training Scheme, School Sports Programme,
Community Sports Club Project, District Sports Teams and Age Group Competitions.
The department also administered a Sports Subsidy Scheme to provide financial
assistance to National Sports Associations to organise sports programmes
for the community, as well as designated sports venues for use by National
Sports Associations as National Squad Training Centres.
To provide better service to the public, the LCSD
has implemented in phases a new mode of operation at recreational venues
since 2002. Venue managers have been deployed to provide one-stop service
at recreational venues. Members of the public may book facilities, register
and pay charges for recreation programmes, and obtain professional advice
and assistance on using facilities and sports programming at 144 venues.
To further improve the booking service, a number of
enhancements were made to the 'LCSD Leisure Link' booking system in 2003.
The enhancements offer convenience to members of the public in making
online and telephone bookings of leisure facilities and enrolment in recreation
and sports programmes. People are no longer required to make prior registration
with the LCSD and can simply input their Hong Kong identity card number
at the time of booking. The enhancements also provide additional booking
information about each facility, enabling patrons to make their selection
In support of the Government's policy to make Hong
Kong green, the LCSD in 2003 carried out extensive tree planting programmes
in parks and playgrounds, as well as on roadsides. In addition, various
educational and community activities were organised to promote public
awareness of the importance of greening. In cultural services, good progress
continued to be made in reviewing the existing policy on built heritage
conservation. The department will provide additional funds for preservation
of Hong Kong's cultural heritage and thereby also support the development
The LCSD joined hands with other government departments in taking concerted
action against SARS when the disease broke out early in the year. Three
of the department's holiday camps — Lei Yue Mun Park and Village,
Lady MacLehose Holiday Village and Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre
— were closed temporarily so they could serve as isolation centres
for people evacuated from their homes during the outbreak, particularly
the residents of Amoy Gardens in Ngau Tau Kok. The department's Kowloon
Bay Sports Centre in Kwun Tong District was also made available for use
as a support centre for the Inter-departmental Operation Team that was
working in Amoy Gardens.
Preventive and operational measures were undertaken
in all the department's leisure and cultural venues and facilities to
prevent the disease spreading. These included strengthening the routine
cleansing and maintenance of air-conditioning systems, issue of specific
guidelines, and the provision of face masks to staff and visitors.
To cope with the demand for a large quantity of cleansing
materials and face masks within a short period of time, the department's
Supplies staff worked tirelessly to procure sufficient quantities of stock.
Incoming consignments were received beyond midnight and, in addition,
the operating hours of the Kwai Chung Main Store were extended during
Saturdays and Sundays to ensure there was an uninterrupted supply of materials
to staff, especially during the peak period of the outbreak.
Responding to the call from the Government's newly
formed Team Clean, for widespread action to improve the environment, the
LCSD strengthened its enforcement action against unhygienic behaviour,
such as littering and spitting at leisure and cultural venues and facilities,
particularly during public holidays and weekends, in all 18 districts.
Officers of the department issued some 170 fixed penalty tickets to littering/spitting
offenders and served 15 summonses on spitting offenders during the period
from March to June.