Inline stars take on the best
By Michelle Chan
A group of young inline hockey players from Hong Kong are showing off their talents at the FIRS World Championships and AAU Junior Olympics in the United States this week.
Arranged to attend the event by the Hong Kong, China Inline Hockey Association (HKCIHA), the players are competing against international teams in the 10-and-under age category in Detroit.
Hong Kong's eight-member squad includes goalkeeper Eisuke Ishizuka, Marco Chan, Jerry Tang, Jeremy Leung, Jun Ng, Linus Lo, James Yen and Edwin Chu.
They are competing in the tournament's Recreational Division, which began yesterday and ends tomorrow.
This is the second time that the team has taken part in the competition.
'It's an honour to be invited back to compete again,' said HKCIHA age-group head coach, Chuck Allison.
Three players also competed last year and they will bring valuable experience to the team. 'We hope to do as well or better than last year. The boys are training hard to ensure Hong Kong give a credible performance,' said Allison.
The tournament is supported by the Federation International of Roller Sports (FIRS) and its inline hockey committee and is hosted by the Amateur Athletic Union.
It brings together the best inline hockey teams in the world and involves both boys and girls in various age groups.
The Hong Kong team had intensive training sessions at the YMCA King's Park Centenary Centre before they left for the US.
'I love the sport because of the excitement I get when I score a goal or when I skate quickly down the rink,' said captain Jerry, who has just turned 11. 'Because I enjoy it so much, I never get tired, not even during intensive practice sessions.'
Last month, YMCA helped organise a fund-raising event - 'Skate for the Worlds'. The young players skated from Sha Tin to Tai Po and back to raise funds for their trip to the US.
'I hope to bring home a medal. It will be a gift to my father as well as a token of thanks to my sponsors,' said Linus, 10.