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In recent years, Hong Kong athletes have excelled in international sports events, motivating more people to take an interest in sport.
Playing sports can help one develop team spirit, leadership skills, endurance and a sense of commitment. Of course, it also keeps one healthy.
The Hong Kong Sports Development Board (http://www. hksdb.org.hk/) is responsible for promoting the development of sport and physical recreation in Hong Kong.
Every year, a number of territory-wide education programmes (http://www.hksdb. org.hk/function/comm_sport. htm) are organised to promote good health.
The board also provides comprehensive training for ath letes (http://www.hksdb.org. hk/athletes/right.htm), such as coaching education, support for sports associations and awards to recognise individuals' efforts in different sports.
Apart from windsurfing and cycling, Hong Kong athletes also excel in other sports. A medal- winning list (http://www. hksdb.org.hk/athletes/medal. htm) provides details of awards won by Hong Kong athletes in open competitions.
If you are interested in sports, you can find a directory of sports organisations, a sports calendar and a directory of sports facilities in the SAR at the Hong Kong Sports section (http:// www.hksdb.org.hk/function/ hksport.htm).
Windsurfing has become popular after Lee Lai-shan's outstanding performance in the Olympic and Asian Games and various open competitions.
The virtual windsurfing learning centre (http://members .xoom.com/boatclub/) gives a good introduction of the different kinds of water sports.
Windsurfing is one of those special sports that features a continuous learning curve. In fact, this is part of windsurfing's addictive attraction. No matter how good you get, there is always a next level to aspire to, or a new skill to learn.
The site introduces skills required from basic to advanced levels. There are seven basic steps in windsurfing skills - balance, uphauling and powering the sail, steering, tacks, gybes, sailing upwind and downwind and reaching.
There is a discussion forum, a fun corner, the latest news and competitions and information on how to find a coach for the sport.
A friendly corner (http:// logic.csc.cuhk.edu.hk/cgi-bin/ cgiwrap/s965752/icq.cgi) allows you to make friends with other windsurfers.
Windsurfer.com (http:// www.windsurfer.com/) gives you more details about the sport.
If you are unsure about the parts of a windsurfing board and want a list of reviews (http://www.windsurfer. com/cgi-bin/boardreviews/ BoardList.cfm), you will find comprehensive information on different products at the site.
Travel reviews (http://www. windsurfer.com/cgi-bin/ boardreviews/TravelList.cfm) give you ideal destinations for windsurfing all over the world. It features the best venues recommended by windsurfers. Currently, there are 300 reviews from 146 destinations on the database.
At Greatoutdoors.com (http://www.greatoutdoors. com/windsurfing/), you will find a list of windsurfing Web sites, skills, tips, instructional videos, hot news and guides.
Canoeing has moved on from its early days of using whalebone, driftwood and sea-lion skin. Using modern kayaks today, it has become an Olympic game.
Canoe polo is a game derived from canoeing. It is played on kayaks in a swimming pool. There are goals at each end of the pool, suspended about two metres off the water.
The sport is a cross between basketball and water polo. Each team has five players and the object is to get the ball (water polo ball) into the net.
It is a contact sport, with ramming and pushing allowed.
In order that people do not get hurt, boats have rounded ends, with rubber bumper bars. All players must wear body padding. Australia are the current world champions.
ICF Canoe Polo (http:// canoepolo.pd.uwa.edu.au/ canoepolo/) features information on how the sport is played all over the world. It is also linked to other international organisations and contact points so browsers can find the local contacts for canoe polo.
The Sydney Olympic 2000 official site (http://www.olympics. com/eng/sports/CA/about/ index.html) features information on canoeing events although it does not cover canoe polo.
The Hong Kong Canoe Union (http://www.angelfire.com/ co2/cuhk/) is a good place to start if you want to take up the sport. You will find coaching information and details on canoeing.
The Canoe & Kayak magazine (http://www.canoekayak.com/) is a comprehensive magazine where you can find out more about the sport and how you can play it well. Similar to canoe polo, water polo is a popular water sport. A century after becoming one of the first team sports in the Olympic Games, water polo is about to make another big splash.
Women's water polo will become one of the new events at the Sydney 2000 Games.
Water polo, in fact, began as an aquatic version of rugby in the mid-1800s in England before evolving into a waterborne sem blance of football (soccer).
By the turn of the century, it had become so popular in Europe and North America that it was included in the programme for the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris.