An ice way to keep cool and stay fit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 January, 2011, 12:00am

In a city with a subtropical climate and high humidity for most of the year, ice skating is a sport that enables you to get away from the hot and sticky conditions outside and is a fun way to get some exercise.

Anyone considering having a go can choose from four rinks located in shopping centres around the city - Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong, Cityplaza in Taikoo, MegaBox in Kowloon Bay and the Dragon Centre in Sham Shui Po.

'Ice skating is a very cool form of recreation. It provides people with an opportunity to exercise, improve their balance and strengthen their lower body. It also helps develop grace and style in movement,' says Sue So, a manager at Festival Walk Glacier (www.glacier.com.hk).

Festival Walk Glacier and Cityplaza Ice Palace are run by Swire Properties and offer similar courses and cost structures. Courses include group, private or semi-private lessons, and fees at either venue are HK$550 to HK$750 in a group (four-10 students), HK$750 to HK$1,100 for private tuition and HK$775 to HK$850 for semi-private (two-three students). All courses involve five, 30-minute lessons.

Both centres provide discounted practice tickets for students who want to develop skills further before or after lessons.

'All skaters are advised to wear gloves, socks, a long-sleeved sweat shirt and long pants on the ice,' So says. 'Beginners are also strongly advised to wear personal protective equipment such as a helmet, knee and elbow pads and wrist guards.'

Skyrink, (www.skyrinkhk.com) at the Dragon Centre, offers age-based courses for three- to six-year-olds, seven- to 11-year-olds, 12- to 17-year-olds and adults. There are five, 30-minute sessions in each course.

All cost HK$450 on weekdays and HK$500 at weekends.

Fees include tuition, hire of skates and time on the ice. Students are allowed to practise before and after lessons for an unlimited time, but there are no multi-entry tickets.

In the toddler course, children learn the correct way to fall and get up, marching in a standing position and while in motion, and how to stop.

In all courses for older children and adults, students learn one- and two-feet glides, the forward and backward swizzle (making fish shapes on the ice with your skates) and the backward wiggle (moving backwards by rotating your hips from side to side).

For parents wishing to learn alongside their child, Skyrink runs a parent-child course on weekends costing HK$900.