[Hong Kong, 24 November, 2018]: After assuming tenancy on an initial three-year lease in 2016, and embarking on a comprehensive $6 million construction and renovation project, Cricket Hong Kong is pleased to announce the official opening of its new Cricket Centre at Gin Drinkers Bay in Kwai Tsing District, Kowloon.
The new Centre features a planned three grounds, two for senior use and one for juniors, and marks an important milestone in Cricket Hong Kong’s long-term vision to identify and operate new facilities to accommodate the game’s growth.
The Centre covers an area of approximately 44,800 square metres, and has been leased to the Association for cricket use through March 2019.
Cricket Hong Kong is presently in negotiations with the Hong Kong Government for the renewal of the lease for a further three years through March 2022.
As part of these discussions, Cricket Hong Kong is examining ways to further enhance the access provided to the general community and other sports organizations, while balancing the needs for maintenance of the grount to a suitable standard for cricket. These include the earlier opening of the grounds to allow public access for fitness and walking.
After investing millions to bring the main ground up to playing standard, the Centre was soft launched at the start of the domestic season in September and officially opened today.
With the lack of facilities a common issue for local sports associations, particularly so for cricket given its extensive space requirements, the new ground is essential to safeguard cricket’s continued growth in Hong Kong.
“This ground represents a major investment by Cricket Hong Kong in the long-term future of the sport and to providing access to the game for the entire community,” said Mr Rodney Miles, President of Cricket Hong Kong.
“Facilities are the lifeblood of any sport, and the opening, and continued development, of the Centre will help us better serve our thousands of members, and further our outreach into the wider community going forward.
“We are extremely grateful to the Sir David Trench Fund, the Kwai Ching District Council, Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Home Affairs Bureau for their support and look forward to working in partnership to offer significant use of the grounds to both the sporting community and general public across Kwai Ching and Hong Kong,” added Mr Miles.
The grounds are a much-needed additional venue for hosting Cricket Hong Kong’s thriving local leagues, from senior men’s and women’s cricket, to boys and girls Junior and Secondary School League.
The Centre will also play a key role as a development hub for the sport, with significant usage reserved for training and the hosting of matches for schools and community cricket.
The new grounds provide an especially important catalyst for Cricket Hong Kong’s growing schools and junior competitions, while also creating an unique platform to introduce the game to schools across the Kwai Tsing District.
In partnership with the LCSD, the Centre will host the LCSD-subvented coaching schemes for local Chinese schools.
The ground will also play home to Cricket Hong Kong’s wide-ranging community and charitable initiatives and partners that engage and unite a wide range of communities through cricket.
And even the most casual cricketers will be able to access the ground with public leagues and neighborhood competitions welcome in Kwai Tsing.
Cricket Hong Kong President Mr Rodney Miles officiated today’s opening ceremony, which was attended by Legislative Councillor, the Honorable Ma Fung-kwok, SBS, JP; Ms Lau, Man-man, Chairperson of the Sir David Trench Fund Committee; Mr Law King-shing, BBS, MH, Chairperson of the Kwai Tsing District Council; Ms Tam Wai-chun, MH, Chairperson of the Planning & District Facilities Management Committee of the Kwai Tsing District Council; Ms Bonnie Yim, Acting District Officer, Home Affairs Department of the Kwai Tsing District and Mr James Lau, MH, JP, Chairperson of the Kwai Tsing District Fight Crime Committee.
The officials helped to bowl the ceremonial first ball on the main pitch, capping a daylong celebration of Hong Kong cricket with beginner’s activities and the semi-finals of the U15s Premier League T20s and the Saturday League Division 2 fixture between Diasqua Little Sai Wan Spartans and Chinese cricket side, CHK Pioneers, at 1300.
Information and Photo Source : Elite Step Asia Limited / Cricket Hong Kong