Ball games played by team have always been the most popular sports among students and young people. However, given the larger number of players involved in team sports, more resources are required to organise training in order to enhance the development of team sports.
In view of this, the Chief Executive announced in October 2017 the launch of the “Five-year Development Programme for Team Sports” (the Programme). The Home Affairs Bureau rolled out the Programme in January 2018 which covers 8 team sports with team size of 5 or more featuring in the Asian Games or Asian Winter Games, namely baseball, basketball, handball, hockey, ice hockey, softball, volleyball and water polo. The Programme provides additional funding to the 8 relevant “national sports associations” (NSAs) to formulate and implement training programmes for Hong Kong to compete in the Asian Games or Asian Winter Games. It also provides financial support to over 200 members of the Hong Kong teams. The aim of the Programme is to enhance the performance of team sports progressively and increase their chances of attaining elite sports status in future.
Under the Programme, the relevant NSAs are required to submit an annual training plan and arrange systematic training to team members under which it should not be less than 10 hours per week on average. Each representative team will receive funding of $350,000 or $500,000 per year depending on the number of team members (number of athletes allowed to register in the Asian Games or Asian Winter Games) for programme and training expenses such as employment of coach, procurement of sports and training equipment and nurturing the youth teams. In addition to the performance targets set in the beginning of each stage, the NSAs can also set their own targets and solicit commercial sponsorships. Funding would be increased by 10-20% if these additional targets met. Apart from the above funding support, members of Hong Kong team would receive a monthly allowance of $4,000 if their attendance in the scheduled training is more than 80% of the training hours in a week.