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New Stars
 
CanoeˇELI Ka-chin
 
"In movies I have watched, the protagonists often escape on a canoe," said LI Ka-chin, who loves thrilling sports. He started canoeing in form 5. That was the year a teacher introduced him to the Elementary Canoe Training Course organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Since the course allowed students to try something new at an affordable cost, Ka-chin and his classmates signed up without any second thoughts. At first, Ka-chin was much more of a ˇ§faddistˇ¨, but he soon fell in love with the sport and gradually became a very good canoeing athlete.
 
 

Practice makes perfect ˇ@ˇ@ˇ@Overcoming the difficulties

It was summer when Ka-chin first began to learn how to canoe. Ka-chin recounted how absolutely enjoyable it was to canoe with his classmates and coaches and look at the boundless ocean from the middle of the sea. The training, however, was pretty hard at first. For instance, he couldnˇ¦t get his canoe to go straight; no matter the pace, his canoe would always go towards the wrong direction. Ka-chin eventually managed to do this after practicing for three days. ˇ§Another thing I found really hard was to get back on the canoe after it had capsized,ˇ¨ said Ka-chin. His training used to always take place in the evening, so capsizing in the dark sea always frightened him, and all he could do at the time was flounder about until he got back to his canoe; the coach later taught him the correct method to deal with capsizing.

Ka-chin has learned much about canoeing from his participation in the elementary and advanced canoe training courses, and becoming more skilled at canoeing has also made him more devoted to the sport. Ka-chin later joined the Tuen Mun Canoe Club and has achieved good results in local canoe competitions for his club.

 
 
Winning competitionsˇ@ˇ@ˇ@A taste of success
 

Ka-chin still remembers the first time he participated in the 2009 Inter-school Canoeing Competition. He was form five at the time and had signed up for the team tournament with his classmates. They overcame some worthy opponents and finished the event as the runner up. Ka Chin tasted the sweetness of success in this tournament and it made him more enthusiastic towards canoeing. Since then, Ka-chin has been practicing even harder and more frequently in the hope of reaching new heights.

In that fruitful year, Ka-chin was especially impressed by the Islands District in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the Peopleˇ¦s Republic of China cum Welcoming East Asian Games Open Competition of Canoeing. He and his teammate had only participated in the junior mixed double off-the-cuff. They had not prepared enough for it, and nor were they in a good position at the start. But they put everything they had in every one of their strokes, and Ka-chin and his teammate managed to place fifth out of the one hundred or so teams in the competition. Ka-chin also loves the Dragon Boat Festival very much, and enjoys participating in the dragon boat events.

 
 
Thankful to teachings of his coach
 

Ka-chin has now been canoeing for four years. During this time, someone has been with him all along, watching him learn and grow. This person is ˇ§Mum Angelˇ¨, that is, Coach HO Yin-nga who he frequently mentions. Coach HO not only taught Ka-chin canoeing skills, but also taught him that itˇ¦s important to be happy and relaxed when one is canoeing. ˇ§Mum Angel never worries about my results. Every time I am in a competition, she would remind me to relax and focus only on the game. Her attitude has inspired and influenced me,ˇ¨ said Ka-chin.

 
Photo LI Ka-chin and Coach HO Yin-nga
 
Photo LI Ka-chin with teammates and
Coach HO Yin-nga
 
Ka-chin is currently studying the Canoeing Coach Certificate Course and hopes he can help to teach the next generation of canoeing athletes. Coach HO has spent a lot of time showing Ka-chin how to teach students. ˇ§Being good at canoeing yourself is not enough if you donˇ¦t know how to teach other people. Coach HO has taught me how to guide students along every step of the way.ˇ¨ At the same time, Coach HOˇ¦s method of teaching has had a great influence on Ka-chinˇ¦s way of teaching. Whenever his students feel disheartened by strong opponents, Ka-chin would remind them that this is valuable chance to test their own strength. He would encourage them to do their best and be calm in the competition.
 
 
Actively involved in canoe polo
 

Other than canoeing, Ka-chin is also actively involved in canoe polo. He said, ˇ§canoeing is a competition of speed, while canoe polo is much like basketball, you have to dribble, intercept and fight for the ball, but in water. If you compare the two, I think canoe polo is much more fun.ˇ¨ Ka-chin joined the canoe polo youth team in 2011. Playing for Hong Kong has broadened his horizons, and he has gained a lot from all the competitions. Ka-chin hopes he can take part in more competitions in the future while also helping to teach the coming generations of canoeing athletes.

 

 

Photo LI Ka-chin's profile

Age: 21

Hobbies: canoeing, canoe polo, badminton

Community sports club: Tuen Mun Canoe Club

 

 
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