May 14

Would It be a Better Big Field?

Many alumni enjoyed our sports at the Big Field in the school years. Even nowadays SSCAA holds activities over there every year. We appreciate very much for SSC to allow alumni to keep using the College’s facilities including the Big Field and many of us are interested in the improvement plan of the Big Field. Accordingly, Leonard Fok, Vice President of SSCAA checked with Mrs.Kiki Ko-Li, Manager, Development Office of SSC on 10 May, 2010 as follows.

Leonard: We understand that SSC has entered into an agreement with Hong Kong Rugby Football Union on the upgrade and use of Big Field. Kiki, may I have your help explain the purposes of this agreement?

Kiki: It is really a partnership agreement whichwill see the reintroduction of rugby into the school, for St Stephen’s College students, along with specialist coaching by Union coaches in the ECAs, and the Mandatory Boarding Programme. Students from the Prep School and College will also be encouraged to join the youth league and further develop their skills on the weekends.The HKRFU will host 24 training sessions for juniors on Sunday mornings at the TSK Sports Field, and help to refurbish the Field so that all SSC students and alumni will have a top-grade field on which to play their sports. The upgrade will include proper drainage and irrigation (which is non-existent at present), along with brand new turf, and a water tank.

Leonard: What is the effective period of this agreement? Under what conditions will the agreement be extended or terminated at its expiry?

Kiki: The current agreement is for 8 years. We will review the conditions closer to the time.

Leonard: Why was Hong Kong Rugby Football Union selected but not the other organization?
Kiki: The Rugby Football was once played in SSC and now that it is increasingly popular in Hong Kong, it is appropriate to reintroduce it back to SSC. Besides, the majority of the rugby playing population on the Hong Kong Island lives in the Stanley and Repulse Bay areas. As part of the community, SSC sees this as an opportunity in establishing a link with its community neighbours.

Leonard: Does SSC have any plan to accept the other external parties’ donations for the upgrade and/or maintenance of the other school facilities in an exchange of the use of school facilities?

Kiki: The College is not ruling out other possibilities, but the core concern of the College remains the education and the interests of its students.

Leonard: How much has Hong Kong Rugby Football Union donated to SSC?

Kiki: The Rugby Football Union is not making a donation in cash. As mentioned, training will be provided to our students. They will also help to upgrade the sports field and pay directly to the contractor. It is estimated that the value of this project will be no less than HK$800,000.

Leonard: Who is managing the donation and its applications?

Kiki: There is not cash involved but in kind. The management of the field remains with the College.

Leonard:  Will Hong Kong Rugby Football Union be responsible for the maintenance of the field throughout the effective period of agreement?  Is it a part of the amount of HK$800,000?
Kiki:  No, the maintenance of the field is not included in the agreement.

Leonard: Would the name of Big Field (TSK Sports Field) be replaced/changed after accepting the donation?

Kiki: There is no naming involved in this agreement, only a community partnership, our students being trained by specialists in rugby; and the children in our neighbourhood, including our students, will be trained in the Big Field.

Leonard: How will the priority of using the Big Field by students and alumni be affected?

Kiki: Students normally do their training in the Big Field after school during weekdays and on Saturday mornings. These times are blocked for their use. We have also blocked 22 sessions of choices for SSC Alumni Association to use the Big Field for Football League and other activities on Saturday afternoons. If there is an occasional ad-hoc request, there is always room tomanoeuvre.

Leonard: What is the schedule SSC reserved the Big Field for Hong Kong Rugby Football Union?

Kiki:The Rugby Football Union will be allocated 24 sessions on Sunday mornings from September to April when the field is otherwise not used.

Leonard: Apart from the Big Field, is Hong Kong Rugby Football Union allowed to use any other SSC facilities?
Kiki: It was not stipulatedas part of the agreement. But as a governmentsubsidizedschool, we have the obligation to share our facilities with the community. So if the Rugby Football Union needs to rent our facilities, like other organizations, the College under the guidelines of EDB, should rent out its facilities if it does not affect its teaching.

Leonard: Does SSC have a comprehensive plan to upgrade the entire Big Field including the running track, changing rooms, etc..?

Kiki: We are hoping to upgrade the tracks as well. Hopefully with alumni’s support we can come up with the resources. The College is committed to a substantial College Development Plan, we have to take one step at a time. It would be nice to have a new changing room block with grandstands but it will be in the more distance future.

Leonard: What is the priority of upgrading the entire Big Field comparing with the other upgrade programs of SSC facilities? Any schedule?

Kiki: The redevelopment of the track and field of the Big Field is among the first phase of the College’s Development Plan. The Sports field will be upgraded this summer.

Leonard: When an alumnus would like to assist in the upgrade program of the Big Field, what can he/she do?

Kiki: He/She is most welcome to contact me at 2813 5520 or koy@ssc.edu.hk and we can work on a plan together.
Leonard: Kiki, thank you very much for your valuable time and your kind explanation.

Kiki: My pleasure, Leonard. Alumni and friends are also welcome to contact me on any issues regarding the College’s development plan.

If you have any question or comment regarding this subject, please feel free to send it to SSCAA by email at sscaa@sscaa.org.

Related Article from SSC website: Improving Community Links, http://www.ssc.edu.hk/images/document/improv_links_20100511.pdf

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