Cool way to stay healthy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 July, 2011, 12:00am


Water sports are a great way to spend time with friends, keep fit and stay cool during summer. However, participation can be limited if you are unable to swim well. This summer could be the time to take some lessons in order to enjoy the water more.

'For adults learning to swim for the first time, there are the usual problems associated with being placed outside your comfort zone. There can be feelings of fear, anxiety, or there could be some overconfidence. These challenges are similar to those faced by children, but are more apparent with adults,' explains Simon Joyce, general manager of Harry Wright International (www.harry

'Many adults realise that swimming is ideal for keeping fit and being a non-contact sport also reduces the risk of injury. These factors, combined with the rapid growth of triathlon and affluence, have seen a spike in the interest of adults wishing to swim.'

Harry Wright International has received many inquiries about lessons from a range of adults, Joyce says. Some are absolute beginners while others are interested in increasing their level of fitness, wish to enter competitions or want to get back into a sport they had left. The challenge for adults returning to the sport after a significant break is that they can have preconceived ideas of what they can do or could do when they were younger. Joyce says some adults have difficulty understanding that their body has changed. Adapting to these changes, and being aware that you can't train like you used to, is the most frequent challenge faced, he says.

For adults wanting to learn the basics, Harry Wright International offers private lessons only. The advantage, Joyce says, is that individual instruction can help reassure the swimmer and help them gain confidence while they develop their technique at a faster pace.

Participants must be a member of an established swimming club.

A monthly fee of HK$1,150 is charged for three private, 90-minute coaching sessions per week.

Training takes place at the Canadian International School in Aberdeen, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

Hoi Tin Swimming Consultants is another organisation offering lessons for adults.

It runs one-hour classes on Hong Kong Island and at Hung Hom. Costs range from HK$950 to HK$1,200, depending on the location for 10 classes.

'We cater for adults who are complete beginners or already know one or two strokes and would like to improve their skills, or would like to learn all four stokes.

'While some adult beginners feel some level of embarrassment in learning at an older age, these feelings usually go away and they are more able to focus and concentrate than children can,' explains Denny Ng Yuk-kong, a director of Hoi Tin Swimming Consultants (