Macau to host 4 competitive, 1 mass sports events for 15th National Games

2024-04-12 04:00     Comment:13

Yuki Lei in Guangzhou 

        The 15th National Games will be held in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau on November 9-21 next year, and Macau has been tasked with hosting competitive sporting events comprising table tennis, women‘s volleyball, 3x3 basketball and under-18 men’s basketball, as well as karate as part of the multi-sport event.

The multi-sporting event, being the first time that the two special administrative regions – Macau and Hong Kong – are to be National Games co-hosts, will have its opening ceremony in Guangzhou and the closing event in Shenzhen. 

The major national sporting event is divided into competitive and mass sporting events, consisting of 34 competitive sporting events with 401 items and 23 mass sporting events with 166 items. Among them, Guangdong will host most of the events of the National Games, while Hong Kong will host competitive sporting events such as under-22 men‘s basketball, track cycling, fencing, golf, men’s handbell, rugby sevens, triathlon and beach volleyball, as well as mass sporting events such as bowling. 

The details of the 15th National Games were announced by Zhang Xin, director of athletic competitions at the General Administration of Sport, during a post-meeting press conference at a conference hall of the Zhudao Guest House in Guangzhou yesterday.  

Zhang said: “We are also studying the design of race routes for marathon and road cycling events connecting Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, so as to promote the integrated development of the three places.”

The State Council authorised Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau in August 2021 to co-host the 15th National Games, and the General Administration of Sport, together with the nation’s relevant ministries and commissions, held yesterday separate conferences for the 15th National Games, the 12th National Paralympic Games and the 9th Special Olympics (Special Paralympics) Organising Committee, with the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau governments, marking the comprehensive advancement of the preparatory work. The closed-door conferences were also attended by Guangdong Province Governor Wang Weizhong, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng. 

Existing sports venues

“Simple, Safe and Wonderful” is the theme of the upcoming national games, according to Zhang, who said: “About 90 percent of the venues hosting the National Games are existing venues, and we may say it will be one of the National Games with the least number of newly-built venues in recent years, effectively reducing the cost of hosting the National Games and realising the thriftiness of hosting the games.”

Speaking to the local media yesterday evening after two press conferences, one for the National Games and the other for the National Paralympic Games and Special Olympics, Macau Sports Bureau (ID) President Pun Weng Kun said the bureau estimated that approximately seven venues will be used for the National Games, with some sporting events to be held at Macau’s integrated resorts (IR) while others will take place at government-owned sports venues.

The Macau organising committee is headed by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U, with Pun as secretary general and the Sports Bureau’s two vice presidents as deputy secretary generals.

“Basically, all of our venues are ‘match-fit’ for the tournament,” Pun said, adding he was confident that all the venue preparations will be “almost done” at the beginning of 2025. 

According to Pun, preliminary optimisation, including lighting, network, and fibre optic paving, has been carried out at a number of sports venues. He did not identify the exact venues to be used for the National Games.

During the National Games press conference, Pun highlighted his expectation of the National Games to drive up the promotion of Macau’s sports tourism. He said: “It is hoped that the 15th National Games will assist various sectors other than sport, such as sports tourism and the sports industry and……more sport fans and tourists will be attracted to Macau.”

Macau will organise more competitions before next year’s National Games, Pun said, hoping to attract more sports fans and tourists to come to Macau, not just for next year’s tournament, but also for the test matches. 

Macau has been conducting a volunteer training programme for the National Games preparation, according to Pun, who noted that by February this year, more than 9,000 local residents had already signed up as volunteers, stressing that Macau’s public entities will co-ordinate efforts in different areas, including publicity and tourism support, to push the city’s economy to another climax through the National Games.

In terms of accommodation for National Games athletes and staff members, Pun told local reporters that the bureau has discussed with the hotel sector on the utilisation of rooms during next year’s tournament. 

Schedule of National Games to coincide with Macau Grand Prix 

The 15th National Games will be held from November 9-21 next year, the schedule of which will coincide with the Macau Grand Prix, which is held annually in November, and Pun said that the bureau has taken into account the situation, adding that “the challenge is certainly there, but we have the confidence [we can work it out]” as the bureau has already deployed its human resources as planned, and other various public entities will also “actively” provide assistance.

Macau to host badminton for National Paralympic Games, Special Olympics

Meanwhile, the 12th National Paralympic Games and the 9th Special Olympics will be held on December 8-15, 2025, and Macau will host separate badminton competitions for the two games, at local government-owned stadiums.

The opening ceremony for the two games themed “Equality, Integration and Sharing” is scheduled for December 8 in Guangzhou, with the closing ceremony to be held in Shenzhen on December 15, according to a separate press conference yesterday.

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng addresses in Guangzhou yesterday the inauguration ceremony for the Organising Committee of 15th National Games. Ho said that the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) will fully cooperate with the work of the Organising Committee of the 15th National Games, joining hands with Guangdong province and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to ensure the smooth progress of all preparations for next year’s event. – Photo: GCS

Sports Bureau (ID) President Pun Weng Kun talks to local reporters after yesterday’s two separate press conferences, at a conference hall of the Zhudao Guest House in Guangzhou.
– Photo: Yuki Lei

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