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Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu Administrators Meet to Determine Continuation of Outer Island Joint Sports Meet

Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu Administrators Meet to Determine Continuation of Outer Island Joint Sports Meet

2017/06/10
Reporter: Li Zeng-Wang / County Government’s Report

The bi-annual Outer Island Joint Sports Meet for Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu has been held since 2006. All three counties have each hosted two meets, and next year will be Kinmen’s turn again. Yesterday, Kinmen County Government has invited representatives from Lienchiang County and Penghu County to discuss whether the Sports Meet will be continued. Lienchiang County expressed its support for continuation of the game, while Penghu County stated that it would follow Kinmen’s lead.

After hearing opinions of representatives from the three counties, Kinmen County’s Executive Officer Ning Guo-Ping, who presided over the meeting, believed that the Outer Island Joint Sports Meet has served its interim goal already. Taking the finance, human resources, other resources, and transportation of the islands into consideration, it is advisable to organize single-item games in the future. Moreover, marathon may be another focus as is already hosted by all three counties.

This meeting for determining the continuation of the Outer Island Joint Sports Meet into its 7th meet in 2018 was conducted at Conference Room 3 at Kinmen County Government. The meeting was chaired by Executive Officer Ning Guo-Ping, and attendees included Director Li Wun-Liang and Section Chief Wang Li-Jyuan of the Department of Education of Kinmen County Government, Kinmen Stadium’s Director Syu Huan-Sheng, Director-General Chen Guan-Ren and Section Chief Chen Ming-Sheng of the Department of Education of Lienchiang County Government, and Section Chief Chen Ya-Siang of Health and Physical Education Section, Education Department of Penghu County Government.

The Outer Island Joint Sports Meet for Kinmen County, Lienchiang County, and Penghu County has been held since 2006 with the objectives of developing general participation in sports, promoting a sports culture and other exchanges among offshore islands, improving overall sports skills, encouraging people to participate in sport activities, and cultivating lifelong exercise habits, stated the Department of Education of Kinmen County. The first meet in 2006 was hosted by Kinmen County, the second in 2008 by Lienchiang County, the third in 2010 by Penghu County, and the fourth in 2012 by Kinmen County again, and so on and so forth. The bi-annual sports meet has been hosted in turn in the hope of promoting athletic exchanges among the islands, and hence leading to tourism development of the offshore islands. The ultimate goal is to draw the central government’s attention to the islands’ interests and catch up with the development of Taiwan Island.

The Outer Island Joint Sports Meet can be traced back to the 2005 Regional Athletic Games hosted by Yunlin County, said Kinmen Stadium’s Director Syu Huan-Sheng. Back then, many in the northern, southern, and island sports circles voiced collectively for increasing sports facilities and budget supplements for offshore islands when they got together, as the offshore islands got little central resources. The initiative started off then with the Outer Island Joint Sports Meet as a stepping stone. Thus, Chen Ming-Shen, Section Chief of the Department of Education of Lienchiang County Government, insisted the Outer Island Joint Sports Meet should not be casually suspended; it should continue regardless of the difficulties. Director-General Chen Guan-Ren agreed that the three islands should stay united and help each other in striving for their own interests, because “unity is strength”. Therefore, they wished the Outer Island Joint Sports Meet would continue, but Kinmen’s decision will be respected.

Chen Ya-Siang, Section Chief of Health and Physical Education Section, Education Department of Penghu County Government conveyed Penghu Magistrate’s intent that the host county’s decision would be respected. She said the cost of hosting the meet was high but central subsidy was scanty. She suggested reducing the number of game items or changing the meet’s format. Marathon, for example, could be hosted. The Outer Island Joint Sports Meet did help secure subsidies from the central government to establish sport facilities, Li Wun-Liang, Director of the Department of Education of Kinmen County Government indicated. Nevertheless, some professional basketball players became disillusioned to rely on the central allowances, and there were pros and cons about using the sports meet to secure central subsidies. Thus, it may be better to replace the Outer Island Joint Sports Meet with single-item championships or invitational tournaments.

The Department of Education of Kinmen County Government indicated four main benefits of the Outer Island Joint Sports Meet: 1. Seven game items, namely track and field, basketball, badminton, slow pitch softball, table tennis, beach woodball, and rock fishing were contested by athletes from the three counties, which helps improve the athletes’ skills; 2. the sports meet promotes exchanges in physical education, tourism, and the successful city marketing. 3. the collaborative effort to hold the meet helps promote the sports culture and other exchanges, and develop a closer link between the islands; and 4. the meet is eye-catching and promotes the offshore islands’ visibility, prompting the central government to put more effort on the construction and development of the islands. Also, four flaws were pointed out by the Department of Education: 1. Kinmen, Lienchiang and Penghu are all offshore islands. The transportation service between the islands is inconvenient and expensive. Moreover, the games are often affected by the climate; 2. the host county has to devote massive manpower to the reception of sports teams from the other two counties. Nevertheless, in Kinmen, only the Department of Education, the Tourism Department, and Kinmen Stadium were involved. Manpower shortage will inevitably flaw the reception service; 3. many athletes registered for the games, but withdraw later. It shows a lack of team spirit. Also, The county government’s and county council’s visitor lists change constantly. Failure in providing accurate information adds to the host’s difficulty in providing subsequent services and other organizational work; 4. athletes participating in a single-item game often visited each other, whereas the official receptions were rarely attended by the relevant sport committees. As a result, many resources were wasted due to the lack of flexibility in transportation, meal, and accommodation arrangements.

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  • Date:2017-12-01