Spike in popularity
Volleyball is popular in Hong Kong with about 5,000 people playing in school-based and major league competitions.
The Volleyball Association of Hong Kong (www.vbahk.org.hk) provides training for children in schools such as the Easy Sport Programme and manages inter-school competitions in association with the Education Bureau and subvented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).
'Volleyball is a great sport for children as it enhances their flexibility and sense of teamwork. In our courses for young children we use a mini-soft volleyball. Children will not get easily hurt by it so parents are generally willing to let their children get involved,' says Oscar Chan, administrative assistant at the association.
To promote the sport further the association is offering beginner courses for children aged eight to 12 years during the summer.
These courses will be run at LCSD sports centres in Sheung Wan, Choi Hung, Tin Shui Wai and Tsuen Wan, and involve eight, two-hour lessons at a cost of HK$100.
Registered coaches will conduct each course and will teach basic skills such as correct starting posture, footwork, setting, digging, underhand service technique and spiking.
There will also be some simulated match play activities.
'After the course, we hope the children will continue to practise or join our Easy Sport Programme run in their schools,' Chan says.
TC Youth Volleyball Club is offering summer camps at Renaissance College in Ma On Shan, at beginner and intermediate levels, for players aged seven to 18 years.
'Volleyball is one of the most popular team sports in Hong Kong. It attracts people because it is skill oriented and relatively less physical
than other team sports,' says Andrew Lee, chairman of Tuen Ching Youth Volleyball Club.
'The chance of getting seriously injured in a volleyball game is very small. It trains players to develop their ability to stay focused and aim for accuracy, which are also important elements for our learning in life, for both children
The beginner camp will focus on the fundamentals through game-based activities. Students will learn basic skills for serving and digging, with emphasis on developing ball control.
The intermediate camp will further develop serving technique, digging and setting accuracy, spiking and teach on-court position responsibilities. Emphasis will be placed on the effective use of three passes to get the ball over the net.
Both camps cost HK$500 for five 90-minute sessions. Registrations should be made by June 16 via Facebook or e-mail at info@TcSportsClub.com.
'Volleyball is great for developing a team attitude in children. They are encouraged to work co-operatively for a common goal. This teaches a child that while he can't always control the outcome of the game, he should always try his best and support his teammates. He should also display sportsmanship because a bad attitude reflects negatively on the whole team,' Lee says.