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22 May

New World Group Launches "New World Swimming Academy" for nurturing underprivileged children

Following the successful re-launch of the iconic Hong Kong event - the "New World Harbour Race" in 2011, New World Development Company Limited ("New World Group", "The Group"; Stock Code: 17.HK) and the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association have taken a further step in the promotion of swimming as a sport for all in Hong Kong with the roll-out of the "New World Swimming Academy". The "New World Swimming Academy" will offer free professionally-coached swimming lessons for underprivileged children with an aim to build their interest in swimming and to offer them an opportunity to fulfill their potential. The two organisers also see the approach of the Olympic Games an excellent occasion to arrange a sharing session for the programme participants with an Olympic medalist whose spirit of resilience and self-perseverance is inspiring.

The New World Group sponsored the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association to revive the New World Harbour Race. In supporting the relaunch of the Race, the Group has gained a more in-depth understanding of the development of swimming in Hong Kong. A review of the results of the past ten years' inter-school swimming championships showed that most winners came from tier-one schools with comparatively better resources. In light of the lack of opportunities for children in wider sectors of the community to learn and enhance their swimming skills, the New World Group and the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association decided to launch the New World Swimming Academy so that those with talent could fulfill their potential.

"The New World Swimming Academy is a talent development platform. It will offer physique and character-building summer activities to underprivileged students and at the same time identify promising young swimming stars amongst them. Under the programme, the most talented swimmers will then be offered professional training in the coming seven to ten years to empower them to compete in inter-school or open contests, or even become the next generation of swimmers entering the New World Harbour Race," said Gary Chen, Executive Director and Joint General Manager of New World Development Company Limited.

"Swimming is an easily accessible sport. All one needs to get into the sport is a swimming suit, a swimming cap, and a love of water. It is a sport for all seasons whether you prefer swimming in the sea or in a swimming pool. The Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association is very pleased to support the New World Swimming Academy which will open a new door for these children. We eagerly look forward to seeing the first crop of 'flying fishes' competing against their peers," said Ronnie Wong, Secretary of the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association.

The key beneficiaries of the New World Swimming Academy will be underprivileged students who do not have the means to learn to swim. The New World Group will first pilot the programme in Tung Chung and Sham Shui Po, with a possibility to expand the reach of the programme to other parts of Hong Kong after gathering feedback from the first batch of participants.

At the inaugural stage, the New World Swimming Academy will recruit 200 students aged between 7 and 12 through the Yu Mak Yuen Integrated Services Centre under the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Fish Traders' School, the Society for Community Organisation, and Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council. The programme will offer free elementary and intermediate swimming courses and pay for swimming pool entrance fees, swimming caps and goggles for the participants. Coaches from the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association, a supporting organization of the programme, will conduct the lessons.

The New World Swimming Academy has also invited Luo Xuejuan, an Olympic medalist in swimming, to host an exchange session in Hong Kong in July. The exchange activity will be open to participants of the New World Swimming Academy and members of the public. Details of the exchange activity will be announced later.

Attending today's launch ceremony were representatives of non-government organisations including Leung Kee Cheong, Principal of the Fresh Fish Traders' School, Sze Lai Shan, Community Organizer of the Society for Community Organisation, Wong Mei Fung, District Service Director of The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council and Sandy Heung, Centre Supervisor of TWGHs Yu Mak Yuen Integrated Services Centre.

New World Development Company Limited

New World Development Company Limited ("The Group"; Stock Code: 17.HK) is a leading conglomerate based in Hong Kong. The Group was founded in 1970 and publicly listed in Hong Kong in 1972. It is a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Index with a total asset value of HK$270.2 billion as at 31 December 2011.

For more than four decades, the Group has expanded from a single focus on the property business to four core areas: property, infrastructure, service and department store. As at 31 December 2011, the Group has an effective interest of approximately 60.4% in NWS Holdings Limited (Stock Code: 659.HK), approximately 69.8% in New World China Land Limited (Stock Code: 917.HK) and approximately 72.3% in New World Department Store China Limited (Stock Code: 825.HK).