In its quest to encourage residents to participate in different sports, the Leisure & Cultural Services Department has launched the Pilot Scheme on Subvention for New Sports with the goal of supporting the efforts of local sports organisations to promote new sports.
Kin-Ball is one such sport subvented by the pilot scheme. It is a game that allows three teams to compete on the same court with mixed-gender participation.
The focus of the sport revolves around a giant inflatable ball with a diameter of 1.22m.
The object of the game is to score more points than the other teams to win the game. The goal is to catch and control the ball before it touches the ground. If one team fails to catch the ball or commits a foul, the other two teams earn points.
Hong Kong Kin-Ball Association Executive Director Chik Ng explained that playing Kin-Ball requires both intelligence and strength, with all teammates taking turns attacking and defending together. It also requires good teamwork.
This particular association received funding from the department’s pilot scheme to organise a free Kin-Ball experience day, allowing residents to enjoy the fun of the game.
Virginia Lo, a secondary school student who participated in the experience day, said apart from the team sport being exciting and fast-paced, playing Kin-Ball requires certain tactics to win.
With the support of such funding, the association promotes Kin-Ball at schools with the hope that students can learn interpersonal skills through playing the sport.
Mr Ng added that Kin-Ball has three important elements, including respect, inclusion and teamwork. Participants can learn how to express their ideas and also how to work and respect each other. Some teachers told him that students have enhanced their communication skills after playing Kin-Ball.
Pickleball is among the recipients of the pilot scheme’s funding. The sport combines the skills of badminton, tennis and table tennis, and people with disabilities can play it too.
Pickleball Association of Hong Kong, China Tournament Director Ho King-choi introduced pickleball as a sport suitable for people of different ages, including children and the elderly. It is easy to handle and can be played at a fast or slow momentum. Players with disabilities can also play the game in a wheelchair.
With the help of the funding, the association has launched a foundation certificate course to recruit new players and promote inclusivity.
Sandra Tung, a participant of the certificate course, pointed out that the wheelchair pickleball coach shared helpful techniques during the course and allowed the students to play the sport in a wheelchair, which was a memorable experience.
The pilot scheme also supports local sports organisations in promoting new sports with the aim of providing more choices for citizens.
Leisure & Cultural Services Department Leisure Manager (Sports Funding) Maria Chan mentioned that each successful application will be offered a maximum of $150,000 or 85% of the total eligible expenditure of the individual activity, whichever is lower.
She added that about 330 programmes will be organised by 21 subvented sports organisations, to enable more than 12,000 people to join such programmes under the pilot scheme in this financial year.
Those interested in applying for next year's funding for the pilot scheme may do so in early 2024.