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 thrive.
The Government's policies on sport, recreation,
culture and heritage matters are coordinated by the Home Affairs
Bureau (HAB). A number of expert bodies contribute to the development
of these policies, including the former Hong Kong Sports Development
Board, the former Culture and Heritage Commission, the Hong Kong
Arts Development Council and the Antiquities Advisory Board.
The continued development of Hong Kong's artistic
culture is in part entrusted to the Hong Kong Arts Development Council,
which is a statutory body. To set up a new administrative structure
for sports development, in July 2003 the Executive Council approved
the dissolution of the Hong Kong Sports Development Board and the
restructure of the Hong Kong Sports Institute to become an incorporated
body to undertake matters pertaining to high performance sports
training under the auspices of the Hong Kong Sports Development
Board and also the establishment of a new Sports Commission to advise
the Government on all matters pertaining to sports development in
Hong Kong. The Elite Sports Committee, the Major Sports Events Committee
and the Community Sports Committee have been set up under the Sports
Commission to offer expert opinions to the Commission on their respective
areas. The new administrative structure marks an important milestone
for sports development in Hong Kong.
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 2004,
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 as to identify talented individuals
and improve sports standards.
The department also works closely with the District
Councils, the National Sports Associations (NSAs) under the Sports
Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, district sports
associations (DSAs) 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 2004 included the Young Athletes Training Scheme, School Sports
Programme, Community Sports Club Project, District Sports Teams
Training Scheme and Age Group Competitions. The department also
administered a Sports Subvention Scheme to provide financial assistance
to NSAs to organise sports programmes for the community, as well
as designated sports venues for use by NSAs as National Squad Training
To provide better service to the public, the LCSD
has been implementing a new mode of operation at recreational venues
since 2002. Venue managers have been deployed to provide one-stop
service at recreational venues. Users may now book facilities, register
and pay charges for recreation programmes, and obtain professional
advice and assistance on using facilities and sports programming
at 144 venues.
In support of the Government's policy to make
Hong Kong green, the LCSD carried out extensive tree planting programmes
in parks and playgrounds, as well as on roadsides in 2004. Various
educational and community activities were also 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 the preservation
of Hong Kong's cultural heritage to support the development of tourism.
Responding to the call from the Government's 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 153 fixed
penalty tickets to littering/spitting offenders during 2004.