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New Stars
Rowing - HO Tak-chak
Gaining confidence from rowing
¡§I am passionate about rowing because I can participate in competitions,¡¨ said HO Tak-chak shyly. Chak is a young athlete suffering from mild intellectual disability. Although the training is always tough, he has overcome many hardships and achieved excellent results in rowing. He was shy during the interview; however, he exuded a breathtaking sense of confidence while he held the oar tightly and stared ahead staunchly on the rowboat with his teammates.
Never give up   Training hard

Chak¡¦s first encounter with rowing was six years ago when he joined an indoor rowing training course organized by the Hong Kong Sports Association for the Mentally Handicapped. He practiced indoor rowing before engaging in outdoor training. At first, Chak always lost his balance and capsized the rowboat. He said, ¡§The most difficult things are controlling the boat and keeping it balanced.¡¨ Though there were many hardships, Chak never gave up and even practiced harder instead. After training hard for six months, he participated in Hong Kong Youth Rowing Championships 2007 and Hong Kong Youth Indoor Rowing Championships 2008 and achieved satisfactory results.

Chak and his teammate, LAU Ching-yeung, have been practicing double rowing recently - a form of rowing which requires coordination and tacit agreement between athletes. ¡§We always remind each other to keep our movements and pace slow at the beginning. Personally, I like double rowing more as it is faster!¡¨ said Chak playfully. Mr YAU, the coach of Chak, said that they both perform well in double rowing and hopes that they will take part in more double rowing events.
Encourage and support from family and the coach
Mr YAU, who has been Chak¡¦s coach for almost four years, has taught Chak rowing techniques and has helped him deal with his bad habit of throwing tantrums over small things, and Chak is very grateful to him for this. Mr YAU recalled one time when Chak lost his temper and left the training centre one day. In the end, however, he came back and apologized. ¡§I was very strict with him, and I always reminded him not to throw tantrums over small things as this would affect his teammates. I think he became mature after apologizing to me, so I chose to teach him by explaining things to him rather than scolding him. He has improved a lot in terms of controlling his temper these two years,¡¨ said Mr YAU. Moreover, because he knows that Chak has a passion for taking part in events, he has always reminded Chak to practice harder when an event is about to take place.

Mr YAU is not the only person who has motivated Chak to learn rowing. Chak¡¦s mother shows her support and encouragement for him by accompanying him during his training.
Joining every race

Essentially, Chak participates in every event that takes place. When asked about why he likes to participate in events, Chak laughed and said, ¡§It is because I can have a goal to achieve and there are chances for me to be awarded!¡¨ His mother added, ¡§Whether he wins any awards or not is only secondary. The important thing is that rowing has helped him significantly in terms of controlling his temper and behavior.¡¨ She also said that rowing has made Chak more cheerful and confident and more trusting of his teammates, coach and people around him. Chak¡¦s calm and confidence while on the rowboat are the most valuable benefits he has gained from learning to row.

Profile of HO Tak-chak

Age: 21

Academic Background: Vocational Training Course

Hobbies: Rowing, swimming, participating in competitions

Community Rowing Club: Deaf Power

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