Former Hong Kong Inline Skating champion took the initiative to create a top quality, well equipped Inline Skating school that has grown to nurture talent, inspire enthusiasts and captivate the world of sport.
About 15 years ago, inline skating in Hong Kong was an expensive sport, and only the privileged few could enjoy it. As a former Hong Kong champion and a true enthusiast of inline skating, Yuen Ka Hei (Doon Yuen) felt the need to popularize the sport as a healthy pastime, and to offer professional training to nurture talented young local skaters in Hong Kong. He founded, Checker Inline Skating School in 2002, and has over 300 active skaters today.
Reaching for Excellence
“The boom of the greater China market is a double-edged sword,” says Yuen. “On one hand, the growth of China has brought in more overseas training and competition experience for our young skaters; on the other hand, Chinese-made counterfeit products are identical copies from packaging to details of the skates. The damage of these counterfeit sales goes beyond revenues and profits, but they also pose product safety issues. Besides, having a network of relationships is key to succeed in China. Yet, the recent frequent change of personnel from the Chinese side has made it difficult to maintain the ‘long-term’ continuity. It costs extra resources to keep investing in the new people that come on board.”
Quality of Training Matters!
Yuen Ka Hei (Doon Yuen): “We are driven to get the most out of each skater by helping them to set their own personal goals for the future.”
“We pride ourselves on offering training that establishes competitive skaters from a young age and carries them with a ‘family’ atmosphere. On or off the skates, we concentrate heavily in the process it takes to build a champion by working together, communicating, and establishing the training plan that best suits their needs. “That being said, we have decided to look for alternatives other than the Chinese market. We actively search for opportunities to partner with foreign clubs and enjoy a true international experience in some on the finest international skating clubs. We bring our skaters to train and compete in UK, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand etc., and that exposure in turn helps to channel our products to other parts of the world,” says Yuen.
“We have a team of educated and professional coaches who are dedicated to help skaters to reach their full potential and become the athlete they are dreaming of. Individualization and personal attention are central to our coaching. We are driven to get the most out of each skater by helping them to set their own personal goals for the future.”
“On top of that, most of our coaches grew up as participants in the sports. We believe there is nothing like first-hand experience to stay in tune with inline skating racing. Not just technique and tactics, it is also about preparing physically and mentally. We are confident to pass the skills on to our skaters when we are in the race rather than standing on the sidelines.”
Against All Odds
The principal obstacle to developing community sports is the lack of coaching standards in the market. There are many small and individual coaches in the industry, who are charging a low price but appear technically incompetent. When it comes to sports training, working out with unqualified coaches put the kids in danger of getting hurt, and possible seriously injured. As Red Adair says – ‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.’”
“One of our largest assets is working with International Skating Academy (ISA), founded by World champion, Bill Begg, to develop an international coaching program for certified instructors to pass down skating skills to all passionate skaters in an injury-free environment.
“The sheer lack of sporting infrastructure and facilities is hindering development of sports in Hong Kong. In fact, there are a number of skating rinks in the territory but none of them are up to standard. So we decided to build our own indoor track. Having a regular place to train is the first step of promoting the sports. It is a stepping stone to support more people to get into inline skating.”
“Our next move is to create our own staking brand with our own branded skates and gears. We want to create a brand that focuses on the needs of domestic market; and more importantly, to cut down on the high cost of sporting equipment.”
For additional information, please visit www.checker.com.hk
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