The reopening of courts following a gradual slowdown of the coronavirus has brought a ray of hope to the tennis world. As the National Sports Association for tennis in Hong Kong, HKTA has served as the bridge between industry stakeholders and the government. We have reiterated to the government many times that during COVID-19, tennis can still be a safe sport to play, as long as the whole process is handled properly following official guidelines to health and safety. Moreover, the tennis court is like a coach’s office and the closure of all sports venues across the board has crudely deprived them of their livelihoods.
Following the letters to the government on April 3 and July 30, HKTA issued a statement on its official social media platform on August 17 to urge the government to review plans for the reopening of tennis courts, such as setting up various contingency measures, to allow stakeholders to make a living under safe and reasonable conditions. A series of lobbying by the Association to the government has attracted the attention of many parties, which included related reports from mainstream media.
Although tennis courts were finally reopened on August 31, self-employed coaches are understandably still feeling hapless considering the difficulties they faced during month after month of zero income and economic uncertainty. To this end, the Association has sought the assistance of the Hon Ma Fung-kwok, JP representing the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication Functional Constituency to help secure a reasonable subsidy and to include all self-employed coaches in the third round of the government’s Anti-epidemic Fund.
Therefore, on September 4 and September 8, the president of this Association attended Mr. Ma’s anti-epidemic consultation meeting and press conference in an effort to join forces with the councilman to speak up for the industry via the media. We hope the government can carefully consider granting a meaningful subsidy to help ease some of the heavy burden these coaches are currently facing.
HKTA will closely monitor the on-going development of COVID-19, disseminate its latest and most relevant news on our website and social platforms in a timely fashion, and work closely together with the industry to fight this virus. Relevant media coverages, pls click here.