Sporting life leads back into classroom

Top Hong Kong basketball player Choi Fong-yue and swimming coach Joe Hung Chi-chiu left the competitive arena for the classroom this week to start a Bachelor of Education in sports training.

They met other students of the course, run by the Beijing University of Physical Education (BUPE), at the Hong Kong Sports Institute in Sha Tin for their first assembly. Mr Choi, who plays for the SAR basketball team, and Mr Hung, who has coached top national swimmers and is now resident at the South China Athletic Association, are among 21 on the part-time degree course.

They will now divide their time between their sporting pursuits and study, which will focus on professional training for sports coaches.

The five-year, part-time course, now starting its third year, is administered by the Hong Kong Sports Development Board with students attending classes given by instructors from BUPE at the Sports Institute.

Students will study 24 subjects, including sports psychology, nutrition, biochemistry, statistics, physical training and sports administration.

They are also required to choose a specific sport from athletics, badminton, swimming, fencing, table tennis, basketball and the martial art wushu, as a major elective.

Mr Choi was happy to start a new phase in his sporting career. 'The course offers me a chance to enrich my coaching knowledge and further develop my career after I retire from the sport.'