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Renovated Public Pool in HK's Victoria Park Fit to Host Int'l Competitions

Renovated Public Pool in HK's Victoria Park Fit to Host Int'l Competitions

A ceremonial race on the opening day.

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The Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has finished construction work at an indoor public pool in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay that had been closed for renovation since September. There was a reopening ceremony held at the pool, located at 1 Hing Fat Street, which was attended by Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam and four Chinese Olympic gold medalist swimmers and divers.

The Victoria Park pool is the oldest public pool in Hong Kong and opened in 1957. Situated next to a number of sports facilities on 19 hectares including tennis courts, soccer pitches and basketball courts, around 15 million people have swam at the pool over the past 60 years.

The swimming facilities contain two pools: a 50-by-25-meter main pool and a 33-by-25-meter multipurpose pool. Both have been equipped with movable floors to adjust depth. The main pool also has movable bulkheads to adjust the length of lanes and accommodate both long and short races. Meanwhile, the multipurpose pool has diving boards and other fixtures. All the improvements help the Victoria Park pool meet the criteria for hosting many international swimming competitions in addition to regular swimming: diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and more. The indoor facility has capacity for 2,500 spectators.

Other public Hong Kong pools generally allow open swimming during three sessions a day. At the Victoria Park pool the sessions are 6:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Admission for adults is HK$17 on weekdays and HK$19 on weekends and holidays. The respective rates for children age 3-13 and seniors age 60 and up are HK$8 and HK$9. Children under the age of 3 may enter free of charge.

Hong Kong's public pools close temporarily for cleaning on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to the end of the second open swimming session, though schedules vary by location.

On the site of the demolished old pool the LCSD plans to bring back the handball courts and roller skate rink that had been in the park before the pool. Commemorating the reopening are displays recounting the 60-year history of the old pool through photographs and videos. This exhibit is on the ground floor of the new pool and will be up until February of next year.

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