athlete of the week
Name Vincent Wong Wing-chun
School HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No 2 Secondary School
Grade Form Six
Sports Volleyball, handball
Vincent, 17, nicknamed Ar Chuk ('bamboo' in Cantonese, because he is tall - 1.95m - and slim), is a middle hitter on Hong Kong's youth volleyball squad. He also plays for Wah Ching, a Division A1 team in the Hong Kong Volleyball League. He was a member of Hong Kong's victorious 19-or-under team at the All China Secondary Schools Students' Volleyball Championships in Zhangzhou, Fujian, in August and part of the 16-or-under team at last year's championships in Chifeng , Inner Mongolia.
He captained his Tai Po school's volleyball team to second place at the Tai Po and Northern District Inter-School competition. They lost in the quarter-finals to eventual runners-up La Salle College, Kowloon, at the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Tournament. He also plays handball for his school.
'I was playing terribly when I was in Form One and Two,' Vincent says. 'But last year, I learned some better skills when on a young athletes training scheme with the New Territories East team. As a result, I was lucky to be selected for Hong Kong's 16-and-under squad.
'I train with my club at Lai King Sports Centre on Wednesdays from 8pm to 11pm. Unfortunately, I also have school training after classes on the same day, so I have no time left for homework that day. When I get home to Tai Po, it is already about 1am. I try to finish all my homework during the night, but sometimes I can't finish it before the deadline. I am lucky that teachers understand my situation and sometimes allow me to hand in my assignments late.
'For the past year, I have been spending all week on volleyball training. My coaches have given me great opportunities. Against all my expectations, I was selected to train with Hong Kong's senior players this summer. But now I am taking a break and focusing on my studies.'
From his coach
'Vincent is devoted to volleyball and punctual for training sessions at school even though he plays for many teams,' Mak Ping-leung, his school coach, says. 'He gets on well with his teammates and is a key player, scoring lots of points. His height gives him a great advantage, but it is more difficult for him to bend down to get the ball when defending.'
'With a similar line-up to last year's team, I am confident we can beat other teams in our district inter-schools competition,' Vincent says. 'I also hope the team can equal last year's results if we qualify to play in the Jing Ying Tournament this year.'