Richard Knight is the sailing
development manager at the Royal
Hong Kong Yacht Club and says the
concern that he hears most often from
kids and parents is about the boat
capsizing. “We take the fear out of it
by doing a capsize drill on the first
day. There is a flotation device on
the mast, so the dinghy only turns 90
degrees and the children are taught to
bring it back up themselves. With that
out of the way, they ease up and start
having fun.”
Other clubs that run junior sailing
programmes are Hebe Haven Yacht
Club, HK Sea School, Sail Training
Association at Clear Water Bay and the
water sports centres run by the Leisure
and Cultural Services Department.
Diving deep
Diving is a great activity for the family
it encourages
a greater respect
for the marine
and a lifelong
commitment to
protecting our
oceans ...
to do together – it involves exercise,
exploration and shared experiences.
It is not a sport rooted in competition;
rather, it encourages a greater respect
for the marine environment and a
lifelong commitment to protecting
our oceans,” writes Tracy Myer, a
PADI staff instructor, in
Scuba Diving
magazine. However, the diving jury is
still out when it comes to the effects of
diving on children’s physiology. PADI
recommends a conservative depth
guideline of two metres in a pool for
eight- to nine-year-olds and a maximum
of 12 metres for kids aged ten to 11 with
Junior Open Water training.
Darren Gilkison, a PADI IDC
staff instructor at Splash Hong
Kong, says, “We run the Bubble
Maker course over two half-days in
various shallow pools across the city.
Children learn some basic skills and
then apply those to playing games
such as underwater ping pong ball
races through an obstacle course.
The PADI Seal Team programme is
for young divers who are looking for
action-packed fun in a pool, where
they are introduced to underwater
photography, navigation and
environmental awareness.”
As mum Bridgette Salmon, who
learned to sail after moving to Hong
Kong, says, “Think about it: no one
in this city is far away from water and
it’s perfectly suited year-round for all
types of water activities.” Summers
have always been about adventures
and exploration, and this summer may
be the chance to give your children
the memory of learning a new water
sport – one that may very well open
up a lifelong interest in the big, blue
waters that surround us.
Summer 2013