Inline stars to take on world
For the first time, Hong Kong will send a junior inline hockey team to this year's World Championships, which will be held near Detroit in the United States.
The tournament is sanctioned by the Federation International of Roller Sports and will be hosted by the Amateur Athletic Union, which organises the Junior Olympics for all sports in cities around the US every summer.
The competition will be part of a month-long inline hockey festival at the Taylor Sportsplex in the town of Taylor, Michigan, during July.
The event will bring together the best men's, women's and age-group inline hockey teams from around the world.
'We've had a youth league in Hong Kong since 2002 and now we have a sufficient player base to select a team strong enough to compete at the Worlds,'
said Chuck Allison, age-group head coach for the Hong Kong, China Inline Hockey Association.
The under-10 team will be coached by experienced player Dwain MacIntosh, and includes nine members.
They will depart for Detroit on July 20, and have a couple of days to adapt before starting their competitive schedule, which runs from July 24 to 30.
'The team is training together three times a week with a schedule of dedicated practice sessions, competitive games, and video ... talks,' said MacIntosh. 'All the players are on individual schedules in preparation for the competition.'
The team trains at the YMCA King's Park Centenary Centre (KPCC) and compete in the YMCA Hong Kong Youth Inline Hockey League.
The YMCA is also helping with administration and fund-raising for the tour. A 'Skate-for the-Worlds' fund-raiser was held yesterday at the KPCC. 'We need the support of the community to help fund the
trip, and any donations are welcome,' said Allison.
'We've picked the cream of the crop at that age level. If we can achieve good results at the Worlds, the chances are better for government funding in the future. It is an honour to compete at this level, and the boys are training hard to ensure Hong Kong put on a credible showing.'
The Hong Kong squad: Jordan Ho Sun-yin, Jack Woods, Marco Chan Tung-yu, William Chan Yan-nam, Jerry Tang Cheuk-yin, Lau Zi-hao, Lewis Ho Shing-hei, Jeremy Fong Chung-hin, and Jeremy Leung Ka-wai.