A sporting chance
Rugby, basketball, cricket and soccer promotional programmes for children are being run in Hong Kong this summer. The programmes are a low-cost way to introduce a child to a new sport before committing to long-term participation.
'Team sports create challenges which children have to solve as individuals and as a team. They need to learn communication skills, self-discipline, and co-operation,' says Brandon Huang, community manager
at the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union. The union (www.hkrugby.com) is offering programmes for children aged four to 11 and youths aged 12 to 17. Cost is HK$300 for 12, 90-minute sessions.
'Rugby requires full body co-ordination, including hand control, evasion footwork and running, and kicking skills,' Huang says. 'Children also have fun with their mates on a large grass or AstroTurf field.'
The Hong Kong Cricket Association (www.cricket.com.hk) is running an elementary programme for boys and girls aged six to 12, with courses in locations around the city. Cost is HK$160 for eight, two-hour sessions.
Courses will use modified equipment, with tennis balls, plastic bats and stumps. They will cover the basic rules on how to hold and use a bat, the straight delivery bowling action and the fielding skills of catching and throwing.
'As many local people don't know much about the game of cricket, we want to develop greater awareness of the skills and attitudes children can develop through playing cricket,' says Charly Lam, senior sports executive at the Hong Kong Cricket Association.
The Hong Kong Basketball Association (www.basketball.org.hk) holds beginners' and improvement courses for children aged eight to 10, 11 to 13 and 14 to 18. Beginners' courses focus on ball sense, dribbling and passing skills, shooting and the basic rules.
The improvement course develops dribbling skills with lay-ups, shooting skills, running and long passing, and will include defensive and offensive drills. All courses involve six, two-hour sessions. Cost is HK$140 for the beginners' course and HK$160 for the improver course.
'As well as learning basic basketball skills, we want all participants to develop a sense of discipline and a healthy sense of team spirit,' says Wilfred Wu, senior development officer at the Hong Kong Basketball Association.
The Hong Kong Football Association (www.hkfa.com) offers the Jockey Club Youth Football Development Programme - Summer Scheme 2012, designed for beginners and is aimed at five to 19-year-olds. 'Our aim is to nurture the younger generation by providing systematic and formal training at beginners' level and give them competition experience,' says Jo Li, assistant manager of promotions and marketing at the HKFA.
The programme runs from next month until September. Cost is HK$80 per person.