Macau, 09 Apr – The Macau government will increase spending this year on a campaign to encourage residents to increase their fitness levels and utilise public sports facilities.
More than MOP 407 million will be invested this year in the Macau Sport Development Fund to support everything from elite sporting events, like the Hong Kong East Asian Games, to community sports classes.
A spokeswoman from the Macau Sport Development Board said to MacauNews there would be a greater emphasis this year on the Sport for All campaign.
The campaign includes sports days for the disabled, a women’s sports festival, cycling tour and summer activities for school students.
Preparation work is also underway this year to carry out the 2010 Physical Fitness Study of Macau Citizens. The research project was last carried out in 2005 and investigates the physical fitness of residents aged from 35 to 65 years.
The spokeswoman said it was unclear at the moment how many athletes from Macau would participate in the 5th East Asian Games to be held in Hong Kong in December.
The event, which was held in Macau in 2005, will include more than 3000 international athletes, competing in 23 sports.
“Participation is still under analysis,” the spokeswoman said. “It is one of the largest regional multi-sport events in the Asian family, which means it will be a good opportunity for local athletes to perform their skills and have sport exchange with athletes from neighbouring countries.”
In addition to the East Asian Games, Macau athletes will be represented at eight other multi-sport events this year. These include everything from the Asian Martial Arts Games in Thailand to the Asian Youth Games in Singapore and the Lusophone Games in Portugal.
“The board will be running a technical panel with other sport professionals in selecting the most appropriate representing athletes for Macau,” the spokeswoman said. “As well as providing financial and logistical administration for the delegations.”
Other major sporting events for the year include the Macau International Dragon Boat Races in May, Macau International Marathon in December and Macau World Grand Prix in August.
There are almost 300 people working for the Macau Sports Development Board in everything from promotion, facilities management, administration and sports medicine.