Published: 11:51, October 24, 2023 | Updated: 19:58, October 24, 2023
CE: HK govt to help para athletes pursue new career paths
By Wang Zhan

Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu speaks to the media ahead of an Executive Council meeting on Oct 24, 2023. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government will allocate more resources to para athletes to help them pursue a new career path and integrate into society after their retirement, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday.

Addressing the media ahead of the weekly Executive Council, he said the Hong Kong delegation to the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, which runs from Oct 22-28, included 95 para athletes and competed in 11 events.

“Among the 11 events, it is the first time for the Hong Kong delegation to compete in the wheelchair tennis. We can see the development in para sports become more diversified,” the CE said, adding that Hong Kong team had already won one gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department had set up live zones at designated sport centers across 18 districts to broadcast various competitions of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games and allow residents to come for free, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said, calling for residents’ support for the Hong Kong team

The budget for para sports in this fiscal year was more than HK$130 million ($16.6 million), an increase of over 80 percent in five years, he added.

The government had worked with the China Hong Kong Paralympic Committee and launched a five-year pilot program on career and education for athletes with disabilities, so that they could acquire post-retirement knowledge and skills during their career transition and integrate into the society, the CE said.

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The Leisure and Cultural Services Department had set up live zones at designated sport centers across 18 districts to broadcast various competitions and allow residents to come for free, he said, calling for residents’ support for the Hong Kong team.

Overcrowding at West Kowloon Station

Talking on overcrowding of tourists and residents at the West Kowloon Station over the past long weekend, Lee said it was the result of promoting connectivity with the mainland. The crowds would make passengers wait for a longer time, he added.

“The relevant departments will strive for excellence and strike a balance between experience and safety,” he said, asking passengers to stay tuned to the information disseminated.

California governor’s visit

Asked about California Governor Gavin Newsom’s visit to the Chinese mainland, the CE stressed he was in support of good relations with all countries and free economy, so that people could work together to bring benefits in different areas to both countries.

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The SAR will continue its role to create opportunities for cooperation and hold international conferences to welcome businesses to drive economic development, he added.