Paper No. CB(2) 974/96-97
(These minutes have been seen
by the Administration)
Ref : CB2/PL/BCS

LegCo Panel on Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

Minutes of the Meeting
held on Monday, 2 December 1996 at 2:30 pm
in Conference Room A of the Legislative Council Building

Members Present :

    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling (Chairman)
    Hon MOK Ying-fan (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP

Member Absent :

    Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo

Public Officers Attending :

Mr CHAU Tak-hay
Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport
Mr Benjamin TANG Kwok-bun
Deputy Secretary (Culture and Sport)
Mr Jonathan McKINLEY
Principal Assistant Secretary
(Recreation and Sport)
Urban Services Department
Mr Eddy YAU Kwok-yin
Acting Assistant Director (Leisure Policy)
Regional Services Department
Mr David CHIU
Assistant Director (Leisure Services)

Attendance by Invitation :

Hong Kong Sports Development Board
Mr John HUNG
Mr Andrew MA
Chief Executive
Dr Dennis WHITBY
Director, Hong Kong Sports Institute
Ms IP Hay-wood
Director, Sports Development
Mr Patrick HO
Director, Corporate Services

Amateur Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong
Vice President, ASF&OC
President, Hong Kong Hockey Association
Mrs Vivien FUNG
Vice President, ASF&OC
Chairman, Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress
Mr Ronnie WONG
Hon Deputy Secretary, ASF&OC
Hon Secretary, Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association
Mr William KO
Council Member, ASF&OC
Chairman, Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association

Clerk in Attendance :

Mrs Anna LO
Chief Assistant Secretary (2) 2

Staff in Attendance :

Mr Colin CHUI
Senior Assistant Secretary (2) 2

I. Confirmation of minutes of meetings and matters arising

(LegCo Paper Nos. CB(2) 387 and 523/96-97)

The minutes of meetings held on 10 and 24 October 1996 were confirmed.

II. Date and items for discussion for next meeting

(LegCo Paper No CB(2) 531/96-97(01))

2. As the regular date of meeting for December fell on 26 December 1996 which was a public holiday and there was no outstanding discussion items for that meeting, members agreed not to hold the December meeting. The following would be discussed at the next meeting to be held on Thursday, 23 January 1997 at 10:45 am -

  1. Regulation of obscene and indecent materials transmitted through the Internet; and
  2. Places of Public Entertainment (Amendment) Bill.

At members’ request, the Administration agreed to look into the issue of destruction of archaeological sites on Lamma Island and provide the Panel with a paper on the up-to-date position. Pending the Administration’s paper, the Panel would decide whether this issue would be included in the agenda for the January 1997 meeting.


(Post-meeting note: As the Administration was not yet in a position to report back to the Panel on Item (a) above, the item was replaced by "Review of the definitions of "Indecency" and "Obscenity" in the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance" as proposed by the Administration. The Administration’s paper on "Construction of small houses on archaeological sites at Yung Shu Wan, Lamma" was circulated to members vide LegCo Paper No.CB(2)810/96-97.)

III. Policy on and funding for sports development (with special focus on fundamental training for the general public and specialised training for elite athletes)

Views of Urban Council (UC)

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 531/96-97(03))

3. With reference to para 2 of its paper, representative of UC highlighted its statutory functions and powers on recreation & sports facilities and activities. In promoting recreation and sports in Hong Kong, UC aimed at catering for the public at large by -

  1. providing and managing public recreation and sports facilities; and
  2. organising and subventing recreation and sports programmes at the "community" or "grassroot" level.

4. Representative of UC stated that it was in close liaison with other providers of sports facilities and funding bodies of sports such as the Regional Council (RC), the Hong Kong Sports Development Board (SDB), and the Amateur Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong (ASF&OC) so that one could complement the others in promoting sports development in Hong Kong. UC was also keeping close contact with the national sports associations (NSAs), district sports associations and other sports organisations so that policies could be updated from time to time to cater for their needs.

Views of RC

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 531/96-97(04))

5. Representative of RC stated that its functions and powers on, among other things, recreation and sports facilities and activities were vested in the Regional Council Ordinance (Cap. 385). He pointed out that the municipal councils (MCs) were mainly responsible for looking after community sports for the general public. On the other hand, SDB, together with NSAs and other sports promotion bodies, would take care of the more macro area of the international scene on sports.

Views of SDB

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 531/96-97(05))

6. SDB pointed out that it would draw up proposals to restructure and streamline its operation with a view to restraining increases in administrative overheads, making economies of scale and enhancing efficiency. SDB would continue to maintain close contact and co-operate with MCs, ASF&OC, NSAs and the Education Department in sports development.

Views of ASF&OC

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 531/96-97(06))

7. Referring to the last two paragraphs of its submission, representatives of ASF&OC went over the summary of its position regarding the funding policy on sports development for the general public and the elite athletes.

8. SDB agreed with the penultimate paragraph of ASF&OC’s submission that SDB and HKSI should focus on sports development for elite athletes rather than for the general public. In this connection, SDB opined that its statutory responsibility should be redefined as "encouragement and co-ordination of sports development in Hong Kong".

9. On the last paragraph of ASF&OC’s submission, representatives of SDB briefed members on its initiatives to restrain increases in administrative overheads and to make economies of scale, e.g. proposed policy change for HKSI to operate as a branch of SDB in order to avoid duplication of resources.

The Administration’s position

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 531/96-97(02))

Recurrent subvention to SDB

10. The Administration pointed out that subvention to SDB was constrained by the government policy that increase of government expenditure in a financial year should not exceed the estimated mid-term economic growth rate of that year. Nevertheless, in the coming financial year the Administration aimed to secure an increase in the SDB’s recurrent subvention which would exceed the prevailing inflation rate for the first time in seven years. Given that MCs were the biggest providers of recreation and sports facilities in Hong Kong and their funding for sports development was substantially higher than that of SDB, the Administration agreed with SDB that, if MCs provided more sports training for the general public, SDB could redeploy its resources to other areas within its ambit.

Funding of SDB’s one-off projects

11. On funding of SDB’s one-off projects, the Administration pointed out that the $100 million grant to SDB mentioned at para 7(b) of the Administration’s paper had been exhausted. Allocations to one-off projects were not constrained by inflation rate. The Administration aimed to identify funds in the near future to sponsor these projects, albeit ones which might stretch over a period of a few years. ASF&OC opined that allocations to these projects were insufficient.

Funding of HKSI

12. The Administration pointed out that HKSI would use up most of the Jockey Club Trust Fund, which was its main source of income, by mid-1998. Members were briefed on the latest development of this funding issue with reference to para 8-9 of the Administration’s paper. The Administration would develop a financial strategy aiming at ensuring the continuing viability of HKSI as a training centre for Hong Kong’s top elites. In reply to a member’s enquiry on redevelopment of HKSI’s land, representative of SDB pointed out that the issue would be examined in a study on the utilisation of HKSI being conducted by SDB.

Proposed regularised funding for SDB/HKSI

13. SDB pointed out that, in addition to government funding commitments to SDB’s recurrent subvention and one-off projects, SDB sought sponsorship from business organisations which usually sponsored individual sports. In order to provide more regularised funds for discharging its duties, SDB urged the Government to consider a funding method such as one of those set out in para 36 of SDB’s paper, e.g. from Ad Volorem Duty on imports/exports and General Rates for Hong Kong Trade Development Council and MCs respectively.

14. The Administration stressed that it would identify appropriate sources of income to help SDB implement its strategic plan. As use of government funds had to be justified, the Government would not support the regularised allocation of a specific tax income or a percentage of it to a public body for discharging its duties. On the question of redeploying some MC funds on recreation and sports programmes to SDB, the Administration stated that it was discussing with MCs on the funding arrangement for the coming three years.

Expenditure on sports programmes

15. In reply to a member’s enquiry, the Administration said that it could provide statistics regarding public funds spent on sports programmes by MCs, SDB and ASF&OC respectively; but was unable to provide such statistics for privately funded sports programmes.


Structure of sports development

16. A member opined that, while Hong Kong’s local sports facilities were of international standards, problems for training of local athletes lay in the structure of sports development and division of work among the concerned parties. He was of the view that the functions and powers of SDB and MCs should be redefined to avoid duplication of efforts. He agreed that SDB and HKSI should concentrate on sports development for elite athletes. In the long term, MCs, ASF&OC and NSAs should draw up a training programme (e.g. a five-year programme for 10 sports) for the general public so that athletic talent could be identified and nurtured with a view to ultimately rising to international competitive standards.

17. The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport reiterated that MCs, with fully elected membership, were independent statutory bodies governed by their own Ordinances and enjoyed full autonomy in regard to formulation of policies and the use of expenditure. On the division of work among concerned parties on sports development, his personal view was that the most radical way of bringing all responsibilities for sport under one roof would be for SDB to take over all the existing functions and powers of MCs in this area.

18. The member did not agree with the suggested takeover and reiterated his proposal (para 16 of the minutes) to amend the statutory functions and powers of MCs and SDB. He understood from MCs, Urban Services Department and Regional Services Department that they would not object to such amendments. His views were echoed by another member who considered that the parties concerned should reach consensus on the way forward before introducing any changes.

19. In reply to a member’s enquiry, the Administration said that, in theory, it could put forward amendments to change the statutory powers and functions of MCs and SDB. The Administration would consult these bodies if such amendments were proposed.

Training of elite athletes

20. Some members were concerned that, due to the lack of co-ordination among the concerned parties, young talent identified from a wide range of recreation and sports programmes organised by MCs were not referred for further elite development.

21. SDB pointed out that sports training in Hong Kong was structured as follows:

  1. MCs provided sports and recreational facilities and organised sports training programmes for the general public to learn basic sports knowledge and skills.
  2. NSAs organised more in-depth training programmes for people with basic sports skills. MCs did not have coaches to provide such training.
  3. HKSI provided specialised training for elite athletes of selected Focus Sports. Athletes of non Focus Sports, which were not subvented by the Government, were trained by NSAs concerned.

22. A member opined that separate coaching of athletes by NSAs and HKSI caused confusion and considered that a task force should be set up to put forward proposals to address the problem.

23. ASF&OC said that NSAs did not have funds for the provision of full-time coaching to their athletes.

24. The Administration undertook to continue to liaise with MCs, SDB and ASF&OC regarding the issue of co-ordination among the parties concerned on sports development. It would revert to the Panel in June 1997.


Participation in China National Games

25. ASF&OC explained that as it was not a member of the Sports Commission which was responsible for organising the China National Games, participation in the Games fell outside the purview of ASF&OC. ASF&OC participated in the Olympics, Asian Games, East Asian Games and Pan Pacific Games etc. in its capacity as the National Olympic Committee of Hong Kong. The Administration said that while decision regarding participation in international or regional games were the clear prerogative of ASF&OC and NSAs, the Government would provide financial support, if necessary, for local athletes to participate in such sporting events.

26. The meeting ended at 4:25 pm.

LegCo Secretariat
17 January 1997

Last Updated on 12 Aug, 1998