Training their hearts out to music

Training their hearts out to music

Six young aerobics stars are sparing no effort while preparing for a major sporting challenge next month

The members of the Hong Kong aerobics team to the All China Secondary School Students' Games are all energetic and passionate. Young Post met the six athletes during their practice session at Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo) on Tuesday night.

They were all selected through a series of tests in which they impressed the judges. The tests lasted just under two minutes.

Few of us think of aerobics as a competitive sport. But it can be just that. Called aerobic gymnastics, the sport's competitive form involves plenty of rigorous routines performed to challenging music.

The young gymnasts will participate in five events at the Games next month: individual boys, individual girls, mixed pairs, trio and group. In each category, they will earn points for execution, difficulty and artistic quality in their performance.

Alan Ng Ho-laam from Tang King Po School is the only boy on the six-member team. He'll compete in three events: boys' individual, mixed pairs and group.

"I need to practise for all three and I am under pressure," he conceded. "But I think I can deal with it." He's the only one of five boys selected for the first round of training to make it onto the team.

His partner for the mixed pairs event is Esther Tsang Ka-lok, a Form Two student from St Paul's School (Lam Tin). She admitted she was at first wary of letting Alan hoist her up in the air with a single hand during a routine. "I was afraid he may drop me," Esther said. "But after training hard, we work much better together and things are running smoothly."

Morris Chan Hei-ting, a Form Four student from Yuen Long Public Secondary School, is already used to being lifted by her partners, Sammie Liu Sin-yee and Cindy Ng Sin-yee, in the girls' trio event.

Cindy, a Form Five student from HKMA David Li Kwok Po College, said the three girls needed to practise changeovers between each move.

"That will help us get higher points for execution," Cindy said.

In the group event, all six gymnasts will showcase their athletic and artistic skills. Sammie, a Form Three student from Maryknoll Convent School, said they are now training without air-conditioning to replicate the conditions at the Games.

They certainly break a sweat as team captain Christine Cheung Cho-hang leads them through practice.

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