Canoeing - Angel Ho
A few years ago, Angel Ho, a mother of two children, started learning canoeing at the “venerable” age of 26. Within a few years, she became a coach and represented Hong Kong in international competitions. Angel Ho’s experience was a marvelous phenomenon in the local sports circle. Angel is currently a canoeing coach at the Community Sports Club and Tuen Mun Canoeing Club, and she spends a lot of her time after work with her children on the canoe.
Canoeing player and coach
Salient emergence on the spur of the moment
Before Angel became a professional athlete, she had been struggling inside a strangling box of humdrum life as a servicer in the beauty industry for almost 7 years. In 2007, Angel joined a LCSD canoeing course by coincidence, which stirred up her passion and threw her into the world of canoeing. A few months later, Angel enrolled in the Tuen Mun District Long Distance Canoeing Competition organized by the Hong Kong Canoe Union. At that time she had no faith in herself, but she paddled desperately and single-mindedly towards the finishing line, and won the golden medal! The talents she discovered in this competition helped to improve her confidence, and she has walked on the path of a canoeing athlete ever since then.
As Hong Kong lacks rivers or seas with rapid currents and whitewater, local canoeing athletes can only train on still water, therefore Angel had only participated in still water slalom events all along. In 2012, Angel was recruited into the Hong Kong Canoe Slalom team, and in 2013, she was the champion in the still water slalom event in the Malaysia Canoe Slalom Championships. In the same year, she was resolute to participate in a canoe slalom event on whitewater – the 8th Asian Canoe Slalom Championships held in Taiwan. However, the organizing party forbade her to play after her arrival because she had never been trained on whitewater and had no professional coach with her. She didn’t want to let this chance go in vain, so she asked for instructions from other countries’ coaches. Later, the coach from Korean national team agreed to teach her basic techniques. As a result, she could compete in the Women Slalom final and even placed ninth - a success which she humbly attributed to luck! This year, she represented Hong Kong in the Incheon Asian Games, but could not make it into the final. This is understandable if one acknowledges the difference in the abundant training resources that are available for canoeing athletes of other countries as opposed to Hong Kong. Nevertheless, she cherished this chance without any grudges.
Life on life
Angel has been involved in canoeing for seven years now. Her experiences as a canoeing athlete and a canoeing coach have made her believe that canoeing can help young people grow healthily. Angel recalled that in 2008, she met a few “youths at risk” who were drinking and smoking by the seaside. She challenged them to go canoeing with her and brought them to the sport. Meanwhile, Angel never stopped encouraging them to get back on the right track and study hard. Under Angel’s patient guidance, they became canoeing athletes and were convinced that her effort had actually prevented them from going astray. This strengthened Angel’s belief that canoeing can guide young people down the right path of life.
With regards to the development of local canoe sport, Angel commented that the LCSD spared no effort in the promote of canoe sport, such as by providing funding for canoeing courses to make it economical for the public to receive in the training. In addition, she was grateful for the Hong Kong Canoe Union’s support, especially their recent grant for her training session in Guizhou. In the future, Angel wants to continue promoting canoe sport and cultivating athletes, with the hope of passing the torch in Hong Kong.