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Hi! Flora, Fauna

Primitive sounds of wildlife linger in an urban oasis. Nicknamed as 'Bing Tau Fa Yuen' by locals ('Bing Tau' means the head of soldiers and 'Fa Yuen' means garden) and located close to the central business district of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is the oldest public garden in the territory. Apart from housing century-old historic monuments, old and valuable trees and other exotic flora, the Gardens is also the home to a number of endangered species of birds, mammals and reptiles. Since its founding in 1871, the refine scenery of the Gardens has appeared in different works of literature, movies and television production, and wonderfully captured by tourists and photography-lovers through camera. The provision of interactive experience with flora and fauna also marks the significance of the Gardens, where urbanites can enjoy a moment of peace and a mindful appreciation of nature. In exploration of stories about the Gardens and the relationship between human and nature, the Art Promotion Office will launch the 'Hi! Flora, Fauna' art project featuring 17 artists/ artist groups, including Nadim Abbas, Chan Hay-ching, Enoch Cheung, Eunice Cheung, Deep Food, Impromptu Projects, Human Ip, Sharon Lee, Leong Ka-tai, Leung Mee-ping, Ng Hoi-chi, Gretchen So, Tung Wing-hong, Dio Wong, Morgan Wong, Wong Wo-bik, and &dear, together with our Curatorial Partner (Image Art) Lumenvisum and Music Collaborator Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Drawing inspiration from the history, collective memories, cultural imagination as well as natural attractions of the Gardens, the artists will present their creativity via a variety of art mediums and organise a series of site-specific activities, offering a one-of-a-kind experience. Throughout the artistic journey, you are invited to explore meanings and treasures of the Gardens — let's share new memories and continue to grow with this place we all love.

Latest arrangements on cultural venues (Updated on 19/2)

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, more cultural venues of the LCSD reopened on February 19 (Friday).Cultural venues reopened on February 19 The Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of History partially reopened their exhibition facilities on February 19. All museum public programmes, interactive exhibits and children's facilities remain suspended. Special opening hours from 10am to 5pm daily (except on the regular closing day) are implemented for the reopened museums, which apply quotas to limit visitor flow. Other museums remain closed, including the Hong Kong Film Archive, which are closed for maintenance work. All music centres of the Music Office resumed counter services on February 19.Performance venues opened for performances or activities with live audiencesFor cultural venues, all of the LCSD's performance venues are opened for performances or activities with live audiences from February 19 with special seating arrangements. The number of audience members in major facilities of the venues such as concert halls, theatres, auditoria, cultural activities halls and arenas are limited to half of the original capacity. Consecutive seats are limited to four and seats are evenly distributed. Performers who are unable to wear masks during rehearsal or performance must take a government-recognised RT-PCR nucleic acid test for COVID-19 and obtain a negative test result within 72 hours before their first entry to the performance venues. For activities to be held in minor facilities of the performance venues such as music/dance studios and lecture/conference/function rooms, the number of users are limited to half of the original capacity in most cases. For the number of users, the number of participants in each cluster and other details, please refer to the notifications of individual venues. All hiring activities open to the public at outdoor facilities remain suspended. URBTIXURBTIX maintains Internet and mobile app ticketing and hotline services. URBTIX outlets and ticket dispensing machines at LCSD performance venues resume operation together with the reopened venues from February 19 onwards. Ticket holders of cancelled events are advised to contact the respective event organisers or check their latest announcements on refund arrangements. For events that organisers choose to arrange refunds for at URBTIX outlets, details will be announced on the URBTIX webpage in due course.Libraries services partially reopenedThe Hong Kong Central Library, six other major public libraries and 31 district libraries are partially reopened on February 19. Facilities include the adult, young adult and children's libraries. Special opening hours, from 1pm to 8pm from Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 5pm on Sundays and public holidays, are implemented. Admission quotas apply. Other facilities remain closed.Book drop services and self-service library stations maintain servicesAll book drop services of the Hong Kong Public Libraries and those located at MTR Central, Kowloon Tong and Nam Cheong Stations as well as the self-service library stations at Island East Sports Centre Sitting-out Area, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Tsuen Nam Road, Tai Wai, maintain services. Public libraries continue to provide online services such as e-Books and e-Databases. Please visit Hong Kong Public Libraries website for details.Special measuresVisitors to facilities of performance venues, public libraries and museums need to use hand sanitiser and are subject to temperature checks before admission. They also need to wear their own masks. Children under 12 are only allowed to enter public libraries and museums when accompanied by an adult. Enhanced measures including cleaning and disinfection between sessions will be conducted.Use the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile appThe public should use the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app when visiting LCSD venues in order to keep a more precise record of their whereabouts, thereby minimising the risk of further transmission of the virus.The LCSD will pay close attention to the latest developments of the pandemic, as well as the requirements for scheduled premises as stipulated in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), and review or revise the above reopening arrangements in due course.

Latest arrangements on LCSD leisure venues and sports facilities (Updated on 19/2)

In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, more leisure venues of the LCSD reopened on February 19 (Friday).Leisure facilities reopened on 19 FebLeisure facilities reopened include indoor facilities (except children's play rooms) in sports centres, the Hong Kong Squash Centre/stand-alone squash centres, a table tennis centre, the Hong Kong Velodrome and Queen Elizabeth Stadium, as well as sports grounds (for athletic events), chess tables, amphitheatres (for individual leisure use only), skateparks, skateboard grounds, roller skating rinks, model car play areas, model boat pools, a rope course, road safety towns, water sports centres, soccer pitches, hockey grounds, cricket grounds, basketball courts, volleyball courts, handball courts, netball courts and a roller hockey court.Leisure venues that have been reopened on 9 FebOutdoor leisure facilities have been reopened on February 9 include running tracks in sports grounds (for jogging only), tennis courts, bowling greens, gateball courts, Ngau Chi Wan Park Archery Range, Shek O Obstacle Golf Course, cycling facilities, outdoor badminton courts, outdoor table tennis tables, and the sports climbing walls, archery range, golf driving range and practice greens at Tuen Mun Recreation and Sports Centre.Special measuresThe LCSD also adopte special measures at leisure facilities to be reopened. The measures include limiting the number of players permitted to stay in the courts/lanes and closing spectator stands. Furthermore, disinfectant carpets and alcohol-based handrub are in place and cleaning measures are stepped up at the venues. Take note of social distancingMembers of the public should take note of the latest requirements on the maximum number of players in related sports facilities as stipulated in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F). Each group of users must consist of no more than four persons. For team sports, the maximum number of players and referees to be allowed in each playing field/court at any time during competition or a training match should follow the rules and regulations of the respective sports competition. A user is not required to wear a mask when he or she is doing exercise within any outdoor sports premises or with a distance of at least 1.5 metres between groups within indoor sports premises (except for coaches/staff and training groups/classes/team sports consisting of more than four persons).Scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" QR codeUsers of sports premises, performance venues, museums and public libraries are required to scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" QR code or register their name, contact number and the date and time of the visit before being allowed to enter for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. Appeals are made to members of the public to download and install the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app in advance and scan the QR code with the app before entering. Members of the public who opt for registering their personal information at the scene are reminded to arrive earlier to avoid delaying their visits as longer time is required for such registration.In order to comply with the requirements stipulated in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), LCSD staff at relevant venues will undergo polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 and ensure necessary measures are adopted at reopened venues. Leisure LinkThe public can book the fee-charging facilities above to be reopened via the Internet Booking Service of Leisure Link, counter bookings and self-service kiosks at venues already reopened, or the Booking Office of the District Leisure Services Offices from February 18 (Thursday). Counter bookings and self-service kiosks at the above venues to be reopened resume operation on the same day of reopening (February 19). In order to avoid a busy network, the public can book fee-charging facilities via the Internet Booking Service of Leisure Link within four days in advance from February 18, or within seven days in advance from February 19.The standby arrangement for non-fee charging facilities are suspendedMeanwhile, booking applications for public swimming pools, amphitheatres, leisure venues for non-designated use and sales activities at non-fee-charging leisure venues, as well as applications for road safety towns and the standby arrangement for non-fee charging land recreation facilities, are suspended until further notice.Some leisure facilities will continue to be closedSome leisure facilities continue to be closed until further notice. They are public beaches, public swimming pools, children's play facilities, barbecue sites, indoor children's play rooms and the Pui O Campsite. Some LCSD venues continue to be temporarily closed for anti-epidemic purposes. Please click here for details.The LCSD continue to cancel recreational and sports programmes to be held until further notice.

Big body is a must for Rugby?

In general, people think that body contact is very likely in a Rugby match, therefore only people who are physically competent should play. This, however, is wrong. The key to scoring lies is dodging and not colliding. Collision with another player is at most a defensive movement, but effective dodges give one the chance to score. When tackling the ball carrier, defenders can hold him down with any contact below his shoulder without any intention to harm. Otherwise, it is considered a foul. The team with the higher score wins the match. For a player to score, he must carry the ball into the in-goal area and touch the ground with it, which is known as a “touchdown”. After the touchdown, the team will be rewarded a chance for a conversion goal, in which extra points are rewarded if the player is able to kick the ball over the crossbar and between the two goal posts. Furthermore, the ball carrier can also drop the ball during general play and kick it directly to the goal when it bounces off the ground. During the match, the ball carrier can run forward, kick the ball forward, or pass the ball to rear-side teammates. A player who is in an offside position is liable to sanction if he participates in the offensive. If the ball carrier in either team carries or kicks the ball outside the playing area, the other team gains a throw-in. If you are interested in playing rugby, you can browse Training courses in thethe Hong Kong Rugby webpage. (Information source: Community Sports Club Bulletin Episode 27, LCSD)

Protecting primates at HK zoo

(The photo is provided by Information Services Department) The Siamangs or black-furred gibbons and their famous friends the Bornean Orang-utan twins have not seen many curious visitors around their enclosure for a while. Their home at the mammal section of the Zoological & Botanical Gardens has been temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Playful tricksDespite the lack of visitors, staff ensured the playful primates were kept busy. To keep the animals active, the zookeepers incorporated a variety of training techniques, such as tying fruit to tree trunks to motivate them to climb and move around the enclosure. “We make food balls to encourage them to use their fingers to take the food. This ensures they frequently use their fingers and stimulates their brain, since they have to figure out how to get the food,” Leisure & Cultural Services Department Senior Amenities Assistant Cheung Wai-lam explained.Reducing riskThe animals not only stayed active but continued to grow healthy during the epidemic with the help of their caretakers. Stringent anti-epidemic measures have been implemented at the gardens to protect the health of the animals living there. Staff must wear full protective gear, such as gowns and face masks, as well as disinfect their footwear each time they enter the mammal enclosures. Mr Cheung noted that the mammals get their temperatures checked and their health is closely monitored. “The animals’ eyes, ears, mouth and nose are checked to see if they have a runny nose or tears. We will also assess the flexibility of their arms and legs and if they have any wounds. We look at if they are breathing fast which could mean they are nervous. Also, their coats should be bright and waterproof to indicate that they are healthy.” (The photo is provided by Information Services Department) Breeding seasonThe mammal families at the gardens expanded during the epidemic. The Buff-cheeked Gibbons, Ring-tailed Lemurs, White-faced Sakis, Black & White Ruffed Lemurs and Cotton-top Tamarins all welcomed new additions to the family. Mr Cheung said the birth of a Cotton-top Tamarin in May was particularly special. “We are very happy about the birth as the Cotton-top Tamarin is an endangered species. They are not only bred overseas. Now we have one born in Hong Kong. We provide them with protein-rich foods and grow their favourite plants to create a good environment for them to breed.” The Zoological & Botanical Gardens enhanced cleaning and disinfection of the mammal enclosures during the epidemic. During these days when seeing the primates is not possible, the public may learn more about their characteristics and behaviour through the Leisure & Cultural Services Department’s online platform Edutainment Channel and get prepared for future visits.  (Information provided by Information Services Department)

Music talent hits the main stage

(The photo is provided by Information Services Department) "My Main Stage" Music Production Pilot Programme is a part of the Leisure & Cultural Services Department’s 2019-20 General Education in Arts Programme for tertiary students. Launched in September last year, its goal is to nurture a new generation of aspiring music talent.Mastering musicThe pilot programme’s founder Chiu Tsang-hei mobilised other music and songwriting professionals in the industry, like Eric Kwok and Chan Wing-him, to offer students advice. “I started the My Main Stage Music Production Pilot Programme three to four years ago. It was intended to hunt for potential music talent in secondary schools and prepare them for a career in the music industry. “The Leisure & Cultural Services Department suggested that I should expand the programme to tertiary institutes. So the pilot programme was included in the General Education in Arts Programme for tertiary students last year.” He explained that the assistance from the Government is crucial. It saved him from having to liaise with different institutes and made the recruitment process simpler. The pilot programme comprises a series of workshops, masterclasses, production coaching and performances aimed at elevating students’ music production skills. (The photo is provided by Information Services Department) Rachel Yu studied music at her university due to her passion for music as a youngster. Inspired by the touring talks held by eminent music producer and composer Chiu Tsang-hei, she entered the My Main Stage Music Production Pilot Programme early this year. “I joined this programme because I wanted to seek professional advice from very experienced tutors, for example, in writing lyrics, composing or music production. I wanted to polish up my musical skills,” said Rachel. In an achievement that took almost a year of hard work under the guidance of local music professionals, Rachel was able to produce the best version of her very own song.Coaching onlineFaced with the COVID-19 epidemic, Chiu said technology has played a vital role in making it possible for him to communicate with students while practising social distancing. He has made good use of video conferencing software and online teaching technology to stay in touch with students. “It enabled me to provide them with comments and critiques after I listened to their songs. It was just as easy for them to send their revised work back to me. “I could also use emails and other tech tools to help me so I didn’t have to rely on face-to-face teaching.” Rachel said Chiu’s support is invaluable as he has enlightened her on improving her vocals. “At first, I sang very badly but he forced me to practise every day. Every day I sent him a music demo of me practising the song. “For more than two weeks, I kept practising the song and my performance got better. When I recorded the vocal part, it was a lot better than before.” Trustworthy programmeAnother participant, Bu Yu, described the programme as a trusted platform to learn from local music professionals. “We did not have the chance to learn pop music production in secondary schools. We could only enrol in music school classes on the market. “Such classes may not be reliable and the teaching quality is not guaranteed. So I could only learn music production by myself before I joined the programme,” said Bu. One of the tutors is Arnold Chan who believes the pilot programme is a rare opportunity for students to learn as much as they can about music production in about a year. “I know a lot about the technical aspects of music production, for example, the mixing and recording process, compression, EQ - which is equalisation skills - and some balance skills. “The students would have to spend a lot of time if they had to learn these skills by themselves from the Internet and they may have some problem-solving issues that require help from us.” Arnold’s advice to students is to seize every opportunity to explore all aspects of music production if they truly want to excel in the music industry. “For top singer-songwriters and producers these days, they have to do all kinds of jobs. So I think they have to grasp as much experience as they can to try to meet professional standards.” (Information provided by Information Services Department)

Historic train makes final journey

For those who wish to explore the bygone days of rail travel, a visit to the Railway Museum’s latest permanent exhibit, train coach No. 313, is an ideal place to start. Manufactured in 1921, the third-class coach ran between Tsim Sha Tsui and Lo Wu. It was retired when the Kowloon-Canton Railway switched to full electrification in the early 1980s. However, being kept outdoors and exposed to the elements inevitably corroded some of its metal structures. The Leisure & Cultural Services Department proposed to the Legislative Council in 2017 to conserve, repair and relocate the train coach as part of the Railway Museum’s revamp. “It is actually the second oldest train coach in Hong Kong. Some structures had corroded and were damaged. We had to remove the corroded parts and repaint it,” Conservation Office Curator Jonathan Tse explained. The train coach was kept in a shipyard for a year to undergo its conservation treatment as skilled workers, equipment and space for the conservation were available there. Route strategyAfter the treatment, the Conservation Office and the Railway Museum decided to transport train coach No. 313 to Tai Po by road.“The train coach is about 20m long and up to 5m in height. It weighs 32 tonnes and is as long as two double-decker buses. We had to carefully plan how to transport the train coach by checking the width of the roads and carrying out risk assessments,” Mr Tse said. He also noted that this was the first time a local museum had to transport such an enormous historic relic on land. The team spent a lot of time designing the route and consulted many departments including the Transport Department, Highways Department and Police.Due to the sheer size of coach No. 313, a special route was planned that avoided going through tunnels. The Transport Department had also suggested transporting it at 1am as the volume of traffic would be relatively low after midnight. The train coach wound its way along a 60km route through Tsing Kwai Highway, Tuen Mun Road, San Tin Highway, Sheung Shui and Fanling to Tai Po.“The greatest challenge was the last stretch of the route as the Railway Museum is on a narrow street. We had to co-ordinate with Police and close the road that morning so we could get the train coach in,” Mr Tse added.There were also a lot of train enthusiasts waiting at the destination for a glimpse of the historic relic, so workers needed to be extra careful manoeuvring it. Before it could settle into its new home, there was one final job to complete. The train coach had to be placed back on to its bogie structure which was removed for the road trip. Memorable rideHeritage Museum Assistant Curator I Tsang Chi-hung said the Railway Museum was the perfect place for the train coach to be on permanent display.“It experienced two locomotive generations - steam and diesel. It was pulled by a steam engine on its first journeys. In the 1950s, the engines changed to diesel. The Kowloon-Canton Railway switched to full electrification in the early 1980s. Train coach No. 313 then retired.”Mr Tsang pointed out that the train coach holds a special place in the memories of many Hong Kong people and encouraged seniors to share their experience of it with their grandchildren at the Railway Museum. Due to the current COVID-19 health precautions, visitors cannot board the exhibit. However, there are newly added artefacts, train models and historical photos as well as video and multimedia programmes in the revamped exhibition gallery for visitors to explore the past and present of Hong Kong railways. Please visit the museum’s website for updates and details.  

American Football VS Rugby

You may be wondering what the difference is between American Football and Rugby. Let us talk about the players’ equipment first. There are more physical collisions in American Football, so players must wear sturdy protective equipment, including a steel helmet, shoulder guards, neck guard, chest protector, and shin guards, etc. Players without adequate protective equipment are not allowed to take to the field. In addition, due to the thick inner lining of the helmet, it is difficult for players on the field to hear the words of their coach and fellow teammates, so the helmet is built with wireless headphones. In contrast, due to the fact that Rugby rules prohibit any deliberate attacks to injure opponents, players only have simple protective equipment and only wear braces, shoulder pads and shin guards, etc. With regard to the game itself, in American Football, each team sends 11 players onto the field, while Rugby rules allow 15 players onto the field. In American Football, the match is divided into four quarters of 15 minutes, whereas rugby matches are split into two halves of 40 minutes.The rules of the two sports share both similarities and dissimilarities. In both sports, general rules requiring players to run forward with the ball and to only pass to their rear when tackled are similar, and touchdown scoring rules are almost the same, e.g. three points can be scored by kicking the ball through the posts. As for their differences, for example, in American Football, when a touchdown is scored, as long as any body part of the holder of the ball passes into the touchdown zone, six points can be scored, whereas in rugby, the holder of the rugby ball and the ball must be in full contact with the ground to score five points. For American Football, although no relevant National Sport Association has been set up in Hong Kong yet, many enthusiasts of this sport form their own teams to play. For details, please browse the Hong Kong American Football League website. . (Information source: Community Sports Club Bulletin Episode 27, LCSD)

Singing Nanyin as We Go @ Tai O

Singing Nanyin as We Go @ Tai O A song art sung in the Cantonese vernacular, nanyin was a kind of popular entertainment for the people of Hong Kong. Nanyin was mostly sung by blind artistes, accompanied by zheng and yehu, and to the rhythm given by clappers. The lyrics often reflected the living hardships of the lowest stratum of society. Today, it has become part of our intangible cultural heritage and was inscribed onto the first Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong. it was once a popular form of entertainment in Hong Kong during the early 20th century. The Intangible Cultural Heritage Office invited the troupe group "The Gong Strikes One" to tour Hong Kong's 18 districts and use nanyin to recount the history of local communities and to bring in-depth cultural insights. Below is the performance of the tour in Lautau Island, Tai O. To watch more about "Singing Nanyin", please visit the website of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office.

Sports Recommendation: Hockey

Hockey, also known as field hockey, is one of the oldest sports in the world. The word “hockey” was originated in French and referred to as a shepherd’s crook. Although hockey was only brought to the international sports arena at the beginning of the last century, the prototype of the sport existed thousands of years agoThe origin of hockeyHockey originated mainly in Africa and the Middle East and was recorded in ancient Egyptian literature thousands of years BC. It was evidenced in history that hockey was widely popular in ancient Rome and the ancient Greek community. Signs of the sport had been discovered in America several centuries before Columbus discovered the New World. It wasn’t until the mid-18th century that modern hockey was made great in the UK when more and more local schools participated in this sport. In 1876, the world’s first hockey association was established in the UK, and the first set of official competition rules was created afterward.  Rules of the Competition- Men and women compete in separate matches in hockey. Each team sends 11 players to play in a match, and players who are subbed out by the reserves can be sent back into the field. - The game consists of four quarters of 15 minutes, and there is a two-minute interval between quarter 1 and 2 as well as between quarter 3 and 4; the interval between quarter 2 and 3 is five minutes.- A coin is tossed to decide which goal to attack. The direction of play is reversed in the third quarter. - The shot attempt of the attacker can only be made within the semi-circular shooting zone. Each goal scored is one point and the team with more points wins.  Penalties Ball outside the fieldWhenever any side hits the ball out of bounds, the other side restarts with a free shot from the same position where the ball went out of the field.     Long cornerWhen the ball is played over the backline by a defender unintentionally or deflected by a goalkeeper, the attack side gets a free hit at the 23-meter line and in line with where the ball crossed the backline.Short cornerIf a defending player fouls out in the shooting area or deliberately causes the opponent to lose a goal opportunity, the offense will be awarded a short corner shot. A player will hit the ball from about 9 m from the goal on the bottom line, and the other players of the offensive side cannot make a shot before the ball is served. The defence can only have five players including the goalie, who is behind the bottom line. The other defenders must be outside the centre line. The other players may only leave their original positions to attack and defend after the offense serves.    Penalty strokeWhen a defending player intentionally offenses the attacker to stop the ball or prevent the attacking player from scoring in the shooting area, the attacker will be awarded a penalty stroke. When making the penalty stroke, an attacker will shoot at the goal directly at the penalty spot. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to block this penalty stroke, and all other players on the field must stand outside the 23-metres line until the penalty stroke is completed.Dangerous actionsPlayers must not behave dangerously or act in a way that can cause injury to themselves or others.    ObstructionIt is a foul if a player uses his/her body or a teammate uses another person’s body to obstruct a player from contacting the ball.  The fun of hockeyHockey is easy to play as all you need for dribbling and have some fun is a stick, a ball, and a flat surface. Once you learn the basic rules, you can put on protective equipment and play hockey matches with your friends.Hockey is a team sport that requires players to have excellent abilities of offence and defence, passing skills, and tacit understanding between teammates. The game is fast-paced, and players use their skills and tactics to compete intensively. The attacking side makes all sorts of passes, quick breaks and fast shots to try and score goals, while the defensive side tries to save the ball, which makes the games exciting and fascinating. The applause and cheering of the audience also further motivate the teams and boost the morale. Development and promotion of hockey in Hong KongThe Hong Kong Hockey Association has been working hard to promote hockey and has organised different training courses to introduce hockey to the public and promote the sport in Hong Kong while nurturing a new generation of players. It also organises large-scale and international competitions to create more exchange opportunities to improve the standing of Hong Kong’s hockey team, raise the level of coaches and referees and attract more fans for the sport. Moreover, the Community Sports Club Programme encourages the public from all districts to try out this sport, which has the effect of discovering talented athletes to raise the level of Hong Kong hockey.For more information about hockey, visit the website of the Hong Kong Hockey Association.

LCSD's Edutainment Channel and 101 Academy

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has launched the Edutainment Channel, a new one-stop online platform which covers informative and learning materials on aspects of culture and leisure as well as keeps people abreast of the latest developments in arts, culture, recreation and sports. Six categoriesThe channel, with its vast resources grouped into six categories (museums, reading, performing arts, sports, horticulture and greening as well as major parks with animal collections), provides numerous videos on online exhibitions, performances and sports demonstrations. Also included is information on the promotion of online reading and flora and fauna of the LCSD's major parks. 101 AcademyThe new channel also features a 101 Academy, aimed at introducing basic knowledge on culture, arts, science, sports, horticulture and animals for deepening the public's understanding and interests in various fields. By way of online academy videos, members of the public can access arts, cultural, recreational and sports resources and explore new scopes of knowledge from the comfort of their homes.The LCSD's Edutainment Channel, combining education with entertainment, is best captured by its slogan "One click to treasures – Culture & Leisure". As captured by its tagline "New Angles@101", the new 101 Academy introduces basic knowledge in different areas of the cultural and recreational fields. Latest topics include:* Art Appreciation 101 – Renaissance;* Storytelling 101 – Parent-child Voice and Read;* Learn About Animals 101 – De Brazza's Monkey and Black and White Ruffed Lemur;* Horticulture 101 – Plant Care Tips: Demonstration of Basal Fertilisation and Fertilisation and Mountains, Water and Building a Blissful Garden; and* Appreciation of Flowers 101 – Koelreuteria bipinnata."vis-a-vis +01" seriesA "vis-a-vis +01" series, which utilises Internet technology to create an interactive experience, has aleady added to the Academy. Series details, including museum virtual-guided tours, online interactive sports training programmes and virtual guided tours of parks, are availble on the web.

Not a IQ quiz: If Tai Po is Hiking, then what is Tsuen Wan?

There are particular sports activities with local characteristics assigned and promoted for every district by The Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Can you name the sports activities of your district? Southern DistrictIndoor Lawn BowlsThe indoor bowling greens at the Ap Lei Chau Sports Centre are the first of its kind under the LCSD’s management. With a total of six rinks, the venue provides an ideal practice area for lawn bowls enthusiasts and athletes.To promote indoor lawn bowls, the Southern District Leisure Services Office organises a range of activities including training courses, competitions, programmes for the elderly and promotion days. The Office also joins hands with schools in the district and the National Sports Association to promote and develop the sport further.(Searching: Indoor Lawn Bowls) Central and Western DistrictBadmintonBadminton is a sport suitable for the whole family.  Various types of badminton activities, including demonstration and promotion day, age group competitions, training courses and fun days, are organised by the Central and Western District Leisure Services Office for the enjoyment and well-being of participants of different ages.(Searching: Badminton) Wan Chai DistrictDance and Fitness ActivitiesThe “Good Fit Training Scheme” is a thematic local sports programme on dance and fitness. It is designed jointly by the Wan Chai District Leisure Services Office, the Wan Chai District Council and the Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China, with an aim to encouraging the public to exercise regularly.The Scheme offers fitness training in Eastern and Western exercise disciplines under the guidance of professional instructors. Each term of the programme carries a different theme, such as “stretching and breathing exercises”, “cardio and martial arts training” and “body toning and alignment”. The diversified activities allow participants to relax and refresh, and add to the fun of exercising.(Searching: Dance | Fitness) Eastern DistrictArcheryArchery helps improve physical strength, concentration and endurance, and is suitable for people of all ages.The Eastern District Leisure Services Office promotes archery through a variety of activities organised at Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground, such as fun days, training courses, competitions and guided visits to archery events. It also actively implements the School Outreach Programme to increase students’ interest in the sport.(Searching: Archery) Sham Shui Po DistrictGateballGateball is a team sport which stresses strategy and co-operation, and is suitable for all ages. The game has been widely promoted and developed in Sham Shui Po District, and can be played on the natural turf gateball courts of Lai Chi Kok Park, Sham Shui Po Park and Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground.A range of gateball activities, such as training courses, fun days and competitions, are organised by the Sham Shui Po District Leisure Services Office to enable participants to share the fun of this healthy sport.(Searching: Gateball) Yau Tsim Mong DistrictSport ClimbingTai Kok Tsui Sports Centre houses the largest indoor sport climbing facility under the LCSD’s management. The two indoor climbing walls of the Centre, each 9m in height, provide a total of ten climbing lanes.Training courses and fun days are regularly organised by the Yau Tsim Mong District Leisure Services Office and the participants can experience the delights of indoor sport climbing.(Searching: Climbing)HockeyThe King’s Park Hockey Ground on Wylie Road, Kowloon is the only purpose-built hockey venue in the territory. Apart from being used for staging major hockey events, the venue is also used by the Hong Kong Hockey Association and the Hong Kong School Sports Federation for training and competition.To promote the sport of hockey, the Yau Tsim Mong District Leisure Services Office regularly organises fun days and training courses for children at the King’s Park Hockey Ground. These activities encourage the public to get to know the venue and introduce them to the sport.(Searching: Hockey) Kowloon City DistrictDance ActivitiesDance activities come in a wide array of forms and styles, and are suitable for people of any age. The Kowloon City District Leisure Services Office offers regular training courses covering social dance, children’s dance, jazz, Chinese dance and Western folk dance. Other activities organised by the Office include the monthly “Dance Play-in” which is open to the elderly for free, the “Kowloon City District Dance Competition”, the “Dance for Health – Social Dance Night” and the “Dance cum Recreation and Sports Carnival”, bringing to participants the joy of dancing.(Searching: Dance) Wong Tai Sin DistrictFootballFootball is a very popular sport. The Wong Tai Sin Football Team has enjoyed very successful seasons in the Second and Third Division football leagues since 2012. With its promotion to the Hong Kong Premier League in the 2014/15 season, the team can be counted on to bring home further awards and honour.To further develop football in the district, the Wong Tai Sin District Leisure Services Office organises training courses and seven-a-side competitions, and join hands with the Wong Tai Sin District Recreation and Sports Council in holding football fun days and five-a-side (futsal) competitions.(Searching: Football) Kwun Tong DistrictCanoe PoloHong Kong has excelled in the sport of canoe polo and achieved remarkable results in the Asian Canoe Polo Championship. Since the 1980s, many outstanding players have emerged from Kwun Tong, thanks to the commitment of the district to promoting the sport.The Kwun Tong District Leisure Services Office organises training courses for beginners on a regular basis to raise public interest in canoe polo. Fun day-cum-carnivals are also held from time to time at Kwun Tong Swimming Pool to introduce the participants to the fun of the sport.(Searching: Canoe) Islands DistrictFootballFootball is a team sport that demands co-operation among the players. The Islands District Leisure Services Office organises football activities including training courses, competitions, and promotion days to help the local community explore the benefits of sports and develop a stronger sense of belonging. These activities also aim to enhance interest in football and help the relevant National Sports Association identify potential athletes for further training.(Searching: Football) Tuen Mun DistrictLawn BowlsWu Shan Bowling Green is the first outdoor artificial lawn bowling green provided in the district by the LCSD. For years it has served as an ideal practice ground for lawn bowls enthusiasts.Efforts have been made by the Tuen Mun District Leisure Services Office to promote lawn bowls as a major sport of the district. Through the training courses, fun days and programmes for the elderly regularly organised by the Office, participants can acquire the basic skills of lawn bowls and sample the delights of the sport.(Searching: Lawn Bowls) Yuen Long DistrictSwimmingSwimming is the signature sport of Yuen Long. The Yuen Long District Leisure Services Office organises a series of swimming activities for the public, from which talented swimmers are identified to receive further training with the relevant National Sports Association.(Searching: Swimming)RugbyYuen Long District has seen rapid development and population growth in recent years, with teenagers accounting for a large proportion of its residents. To further promote sports in the community and make good use of its facilities, the Yuen Long District Leisure Services Office runs a rugby promotion programme and names rugby the most representative sport of the district. The programme, which is co-organised by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and subsidised by the Yuen Long District Council, will provide local teenagers with more sporting opportunities and options, and help them form the habit of exercising regularly.(Searching: Rugby) Tsuen Wan DistrictDance ActivitiesDance activities are suitable for all ages. Dance classes and fun days are organised in Tsuen Wan District to encourage the public to participate in dance activities regularly and make exercise a habit so as to establish a healthy life style.The Tsuen Wan District Leisure Services Office organises a variety of dance activities such as demonstrations, dance night and competition. They provide great opportunities for dance lovers to share experience and refine their dancing skills.(Searching: Dance) Kwai Tsing DistrictBMX Cycling“BMX” is short for “Bicycle Motocross”, a sport that originated in California, the United States, in the early 1960s. BMX races, which are held on tracks built on compacted soil with jumps and banked turns, appeal especially to thrill-seeking youngsters. The sport has seen rapid development in recent years and was included as a new event in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.The Hong Kong Jockey Club International BMX Park in Kwai Tsing District is the territory’s first BMX training and competition venue of international standards. Managed by the Hong Kong Cycling Association, the Park opened to the public in October 2009. Activities including BMX fun days and training courses are regularly organised by the Kwai Tsing District Leisure Services Office to promote the sport.(Searching: BMX)Air-gun ShootingAir-gun shooting has grown in popularity in recent years. The Hong Kong ISSF Air Gun Shooting Centre at Kwai Shing Circuit, Kwai Chung, is the first indoor public air-gun shooting training centre of the LCSD. Converted from the former Jockey Club Kwai Shing Public Squash Courts, the Centre opened in June 2009. Under the management of the Hong Kong Shooting Association, the Centre provides 20 shooting lanes, each 10m in length. Air-gun shooting activities are organised by the Kwai Tsing District Leisure Services Office on a regular basis for the wide promotion of this newly-popular sport.(Searching: Shooting) North DistrictTable TennisTable tennis is one of the favourite activities in North District. There are dedicated venues for the sport, enabling the residents to play table tennis in their spare time.The North District Leisure Services Office regularly organises table tennis activities such as training courses, play-ins for the elderly, carnival, district age group competition and team competition, which help increase public interest in the sport and promote its development at the district level.(Searching:Table Tennis) Tai Po DistrictHikingThe lush, rolling countryside of Hong Kong is home to many historic sites and distinct landforms.The Tai Po District Leisure Services Office organises hiking activities with themes such as “nature”, “scenery”, “heritage” and “family”. Participants will be able to immerse themselves in the rustic charm of the countryside through direct contact with nature and visits to places of historic or scenic interest.(Searching: Hiking)Table TennisTable tennis is an exercise of moderate intensity. It is good for training reflexes and the mind, and is very popular among the residents of Tai Po District.To promote and develop the sport, the Tai Po District Leisure Services Office organises a variety of table tennis activities. Participants of different ages can receive professional coaching and pit their skills against each other.(Searching:Table Tennis) Sha Tin DistrictWushuWushu activities at the community level are useful in identifying athletes suitable for further training.The Sha Tin District Leisure Services Office organises a varied programme of wushu activities including training courses, open events and fun days, which helps introduce beginners to the sport and provides a platform for wushu practitioners to enhance their skills.(Searching: Wushu) Sai Kung DistrictWater SportsSituated in the east of Hong Kong, Sai Kung District boasts an extensive coastline that is conducive to the development of a variety of water sports.The Sai Kung District Leisure Services Office regularly offers courses in canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and dragon boat training. Participants have the opportunity to acquire water sports skills and water safety knowledge while enjoying the summer fun.(Searching: Water Sports)  

Sports Recommendation: Mountain Craft

(Image is designed by the student of Hong Kong Design Institute) In addition to emphasizing essential safety skills, mountain craft also encourages you to exercise your willpower and perseverance, and helps you develop communication, cooperation and problem solving skills. Mountain CraftIf you want to get closer to nature on an outdoor adventure to see natural views from high up, mountain craft, which consist of hiking and camping activities, is undoubtedly a perfect choice for you. But before setting out, remember that careful planning of the route and taking note of weather conditions are critically important to mountaineering activities as the mountains are dangerous.  Basic equipment Safety always comes first when participating in mountaineering activities, and you must ensure the adequacy of all climbing equipment. In terms of clothing, participants should wear loose and comfortable clothes, and should bring hats, waterproof jackets, towels and extra clothes with them. Hiking shoes should also be worn to protect the feet and prevent slips and injuries. Also, hiking sticks are great for supporting you and helping you keep your balance.Bring maps, compasses, torches, whistles, multi-purpose pocket knives and sufficient food and drinking water, as well as insect repellent, personal medicine and a first aid kit with medicine, bandages and painkillers in case of emergencies.Activities such as camping require the preparation of many items such as tents, camp lights, cooking utensils, fuel, sleeping bags and personal cleaning products. As such, it is recommended to come up with a checklist of necessary items beforehand.  Knot tying and protection Depending on the difficulty of the route, you should be equipped with items such as a karabiner, climbing rope and slings that are suited to the difficulty of your hiking route. In addition to this, participants need to be familiar with basic binding and hitching methods and the following types of knots: overhand knot, reef knot, single figure eight, double figure eight, follow through figure eight, clove hitch, round turn & two half hitch, bowline, double fisherman’s knot, etc. Proper employment of the equipment and tying techniques mentioned above will reduce the chances of injury significantly.  Points to note when crossing rivers If a river must be crossed as part of the hiking route, climbers must be led by an experienced leader when crossing the river. You should always walk in shallow and slow-moving areas of the river during the crossing and should avoid wet rocks and tree trunks. Slip-proof hiking shoes should be worn during the crossing. A hiking stick should be used for balancing and path finding purposes during the crossing. Do not risk water wading unless it is necessary. For safety reasons, it is best to form a group of at least two and consider the adequacy of equipment, the opinions of group members and the water temperature before risking a river crossing.  Mountain Craft training To promote greater awareness of mountaineering safety and techniques among participants through systematic training, the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union (formerly known as Hong Kong Mountaineering Union) offers specialized training courses such as the Mountain Craft Certificate Course which targets participants at different levels of expertise. The training courses include Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Mountain Craft Training Course and Mountain Craft Coach Training. All courses are taught by registered coaches. The aim of the courses is to cultivate further interest in mountaineering among participants while teaching them essential mountaineering skills and knowledge. For more information, please visit the official website of the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union or call 2504 8125 for enquiries. 

The most popular exhibition: "Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt" (Leisure and Cultural Services Department)

Museum Director (Science Museum), Leisure and Cultural Services Department, CHAN Shuk-man, Paulina said, "The Hong Kong Science Museum explores around the world every year for spectacular exhibitions to bring to the citizens of Hong Kong.""We encountered many difficulties, such as the regulation of temperature and humidity. Throughout the exhibition venue, we had to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity. We realised that there was not enough space at our Special Exhibition Hall. Therefore, we removed some exhibits from our Exhibition Hall temporarily so as to extend the exhibition space. The government has years of experience and established procedures in hosting exhibitions. But how do we give a facelift and bring a whole new experience to the public? We have to introduce new elements with our innovative spirit."CHAN Shuk-man, Paulina added, "We must have the vision and passion to bring high quality cultural events and exhibitions to the citizens of Hong Kong." The project, the exhibition on "Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt",  was primarily managed by Paulina and the Curatorial officers of the Science Museum.  The exhibition is so far the most popular exhibition of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, attracting over 0.85 million visitors. Let’s see how they went the extra mile in using innovation to create the “world-class” exhibition.Exhibitions on Egyptian mummies are mostly presented from historical and archaeological perspectives. The Hong Kong Science Museum and The British Museum jointly organised the exhibition on “Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt” in 2017, using a scientific approach to unveil the myth about the eternal life of the ancient mummies.Paulina said, "Throughout the year, the Hong Kong Science Museum constantly looks out for spectacular exhibition items from around the world to present them to the enjoyment of Hong Kong people. A few years ago, we learnt that The British Museum had done some novel research on the mummies ofancient Egypt. On knowing that we were going to organise this exhibition, we realised that cultural relics was the key to understand the historical background of the exhibits. Then we brainstormed ideas and used innovative thinking to explore ways to make this exhibition a whole new experience for the public."During the exhibition, the exterior setting of the Science Museum was a replicate of an ancient Egyptian shrine.The then Designer I (Science), WONG Yin-yiu, Angela said, "Due to the original design of the Science Museum, we could not turn it into a pyramid. We conducted lots of research and found that shrine was of great importance in ancient Egypt. We hoped to create for the audience an ambience of making a pilgrimage when they visited the Science Museum."Paulina added, "We encountered quite a lot of difficulties. The British Museum is a world class museum. They have a very high standard for handling the cultural relics. They set stringent requirements in many aspects, such as the ambience temperature, humidity control, lighting arrangement at the venue, and even the air-tightness of the display cases."Technical Officer I (Science) Mechanical Engineering, CHAN Kim-fung said, "We all know how rarely in Hong Kong we have a relative humidity below 40%. We adopted a lot of measures. Our museum is not built for storing cultural relics, and our air conditioning system is a bit old without humidity control function. Therefore, we had to add a fresh air regulating function in our air conditioning system, to help control the humidity level of the exhibition halls." From venue setup, lighting design to the display of textual explanation, we hoped to bring to visitors an entirely new experience. For example, this multimedia programme, crafted by animations and 3D mapping technology, was the first of its kind among similar exhibitions worldwide.In addition to the original exhibits and textual explanations, to facilitate better understanding of the structure of the mummies from a scientific perspective, the Science Museum borrowed from a supplier a medical CT Scan. They used it to illustrate from a scientific perspective how archaeologists and other specialists applied non-intrusive method to determine the age and sex of the mummified bodies. Other themes, such as diet, health conditions, mummification process and religious customs of the ancient Egyptians were included.Curator (Science), CHUNG Chun-wah, Kelvin said, "In conjuring up this event, we wanted to introduce new elements. Then we came up with the idea of the “Escape Room”, which was something we never did before, and it was quite well received. The content of the “Escape Room”revolved around the information shown in the exhibition. We hoped that the visitors could make use of the information as clues to solve the puzzles, and then escape from the room."Paulina said, "The British Museum is a world class museum. We were contemplating how we could craft an exhibition suitable for Hong Kong people. We have put a lot of thoughts in designing the event, apart from the treatment of the cultural relics. I believe that colleagues in the museum need to have a vision and a passion for bringing high quality cultural activities and exhibitions to the people of Hong Kong." (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Dance – an art and a sport

(Image is designed by the student of Hong Kong Design Institute) Dancing is more than an art. It is also a sport which helps to maintain health, to boost immunity, and to improve mental wellness by releasing emotions.An accumulation of at least 30 minutes of dance (at least 10 minutes per session) every day persistently can bring you the following benefits: - Improving your cardiopulmonary functions and blood circulation;- Enhancing the mobility and flexibility of joints to lower the risk of injuries and falls;- Strengthening your muscles and reducing the risk of osteoporosis;- Reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and diabetes mellitus as well as preventing some types of cancer (e.g. colorectal cancer);- Relieving stress, boosting confidence and improving mental health;- To broaden social circle; and- To burn calories to help you maintain a healthy body weight. There are many types of dance, each with its own characteristics, some of which are as follows:Social dance    In the old days, Social dance was a classy social and recreational activity that catered for minority interests. With growing popularity, it has been taken up by people from all walks of life. Today, social dance is not only a kind of art performance, but also a competitive event in the sports arena. Modern danceOnly becoming popular in Hong Kong in the mid-70s, modern dance has developed rapidly since then. With different schools and distinctive styles, it has multiple expression techniques that stress the uniqueness and creativity of the dancers.    Jazz danceJazz dance with strong beats and diverse steps, is very popular among young people. Since it has fewer rules as compared with social dance, dancers can express themselves freely through dancing. Chinese danceChinese dance is divided into classical dance and ethnic dance, reflecting Chinese cultural characteristics and traditional customs of ethnic groups. Rich in content and varied in forms, it enables dancers to understand more about the culture and arts of our country through dancing.    Folk danceFolk dance is a very common form of entertainment in festive celebrations and gatherings. Though easy to learn, its clear rhythm calls for co-ordination and co-operation among dancers. Cultural characteristics of different places can also be displayed. It is such a dance suitable for all. Children danceDance tailor-made for children can be called children dance. It adopts basic techniques of various types of dance (such as ballet, jazz dance and folk dance). Light and lively in mood, it helps children to develop an interest in dancing.    Street danceOriginated in the United States, street dance is an umbrella term which includes a fusion of many dance styles associated with different street cultures or music styles. Hip-Hop and break dance are the two most common types of street dance. The common characteristic of street dance is strong swinging movements, a variety of improvised moves and that there are no rules on what you wear. The best aspect of street dance is its rich vibrancy and passion. Regular practice can improve your whole body co-ordination. Line danceLine dance is a type of Contredanse and is widely popular across the world. It has its origins in the western United States at the time when disco was dominating the dancefloors. It is made up of simple dance moves and does not require a partner. The dancers stand in lines and dance the same steps with the sound of cheerful music and repeated turns. In addition to improving cardiopulmonary functions, joint mobility and hand and foot coordination, line dance can also improve memory and sense of direction.    Group danceGroup dance includes various types of dance from line dance to jazz dance, Chinese dance, folk dance, social dance and Latin dance, etc. A partner is not required for these dances. Props such as fan, sleeve, scarf, tambourine and bamboo clapper are normally used by dancer to move with pleasant music. If you are interested in dance, please visit the website of Hong Kong DanceSport Assciation or Hong Kong Dance Federation for further information. You may also check out the activities about dance published on our website.

Sports Recommendation: Finswimming – a combination of swimming and diving

Humans may not have webbed feet, but they invented flippers so that they can swim and kick water more smoothly in the water as if they have grown fins. This was later developed into a sport called finswimming. Finswimming is a water sport that is a combination of swimming and diving. Wearing flippers increases your swimming speed underwater, making this sport more exciting. Origin and characteristicsIn the 1930s, in order to allow the Navy to swim faster in the water to facilitate searching and rescue operations, a French naval officer invented the rubber flipper, and this became the origin of the finswimming sport. Finswimming has become more popular since its inception in Europe, and finswimming competitions were even held in the former Soviet Union, Italy and Switzerland. By 1972, the mono-fin was invented, which joined the two feet of swimmers together, making them look like dolphins when they swung their feet to swim. Swimmers used a front-mounted snorkel to breathe while swimming, and used the mono-fin in a dolphin-like motion to swing the body forward. Unlike normal swimming, finswimming does not involve any hand strokes; instead, swimmers move forward by coordinating their waist, abdomen, legs and ankles when swinging. Clothing and equipmentThe clothing worn for finswimming is mostly similar to normal swimming, and generally includes swimwear, swimming trunks, a swimming cap and goggles. As for equipment, the front-mounted snorkel used for finswimming is mostly made of plastic, but some parts of it are made of carbon fibre or metal. The flippers used are mostly made of fibreglass or carbon fibre, which is different to the flippers used for scuba diving. Beginners mostly use smaller and softer flippers to familiarise themselves with the feeling of kicking water with their ankles. Advanced swimmers would use harder and larger flippers to increase the speed of their movement under water. (The video is broadcasted in Chinese) The benefits of finswimmingFinswimming is an aerobic exercise that strengthens cardiorespiratory endurance and promotes blood circulation. While finswimming, one must constantly swing their bodies, so this also trains the muscles of your whole body, especially your waist and abdomen. Externally, finswimming slims down your body and tones your muscles; internally, it stimulates your intestines to improve your digestive system. Development and promotionThe Hong Kong Underwater Association has promoted finswimming for more than a decade, and more and more people are participating in finswimming. In addition, a number of community sports clubs also help interested parties book venues, run finswimming classes in swimming pools of various communities, and provide professional coaches to teach the public finswimming skills. Moreover, the Hong Kong Underwater Association has also established a strict safety code for finswimmers, requiring them to practise finswimming in an approved swimming pool with a coach. In order to go finswimming in the open sea, one must pass a finswimming test in the swimming pool, and only those who pass can go finswimming in the open sea. However, they are only allowed to surface swim and are not allowed to dive into the sea. For more information about finswimming, please visit the Hong Kong Underwater Association website.

Sports Recommendation: Canoeing

There are various types of canoe. Different types of canoe are used for different purposes. In general, the sport can be divided into kayaking and Canoeing. As far as design is concerned, a kayak has a covered deck while a canoe only has an open deck. Both types of canoe are equipped with seats. A kayak paddler uses a paddle with two blades while a canoe paddler uses a paddle with a single blade.Athletes in a sprint wins if they finish the race the fastest. The course of a sprint is located on a river or sea. The distances are 200 metres, 500 metres and 1000 metres. There are groups of 1, 2 or 4 athletes. The course of a slalom is on river rapids. Athletes need to go through a number of gates during the race. A gate consists of two poles. There are downstream gates and upstream gates. Athletes need to pass through a downstream gate in the downstream direction and an upstream gate in the upstream direction. If the athletes touch the pole of a gate or fail to pass through a gate, there will be time penalties. In addition to speed racing, canoeing has other forms of competition, for example canoe marathon, which requires high physical fitness, and canoe polo, which requires teamwork. Here are a few common forms of canoeing in Hong Kong: •Canoe MarathonCanoe marathon is long distance canoeing. It is usually divided into age groups. The course is about 18 to 23 km long, while courses of international competitions may be up to 30 or 40 km long, which are extremely challenging. If geographical or other factors make it impossible to have a course of a suitable length, then the course goes around a short course a number of times. Canoe marathon requires athletes to have explosive sprinting strength. It also tests their ability of making turns. Some marathon courses goes through rivers, lakes, rapids, bays and the sea, which test athletes' ability to canoe on calm water and rapid currents. The most highly regarded canoe marathon is the ICF World Canoe Marathon.•Canoe PoloAs the name suggests, canoe polo is a combination of canoeing and water polo. It is played by two teams of five players. The players control the canoe and try to score goals. The team with more goals wins. Canoe polo is challenging and exciting. Athletes need good canoeing skills and a sensitive touch for offence and defence.•Kayak Course RaceIn kayak course race, athletes need to pass all checkpoints to reach the finishing point. The course is from 1000 m to 5000 m long, depending on factors such as the age of the athletes or the environmental restrictions. Since the race is not carried on fixed channels, athletes must have a good sense of distance, be skilful and devise a strategy to pass the checkpoints in the best route.There are many canoe elite athletes in Hong Kong. The have represented Hong Kong in international competitions such as the Olympic Games, World Championships, the Asian Games and the National Games of the People's Republic of China. They have won prizes in various international and intercity competitions.Kayaking Courses offered by Water Sports Centres of the LCSDKayaking is a sport for all ages. Its equipment is simple. It is a popular outdoor sport. The Water Sports Centres of the LCSD provide different types of canoe for rent. They offer different kayaking certificate training courses, which last from one to three days and include training courses for young people which provide basic knowledge and practice opportunities to children from 8 to 13 years old. Many community canoe clubs also provide courses that are suitable for people all ages. Participants can enjoy paddling under guidance from coaches.To take a kayaking course, visit the website of the LCSD or visit the related courses (Canoe or Kayak)promoted in Youth.gov.hk website.

The dragon boat sport requires team work

Do you remember? At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the dragon boat was one of the transportations for the Olympic torch relay in Hong Kong, adding a refreshing and regional touch to the event. Origin and developmentThere are numerous versions about the origin of the dragon boat. The most widely adopted version is: it started from 278 BC, during a period known as the Warring States in Chinese history, to commemorate the patriotic poet Qu Yuan. Since then the dragon boat races have been held every year on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. Despite being a festive activity for the Tuen Ng Festival, the dragon boat race was not considered as a sport activity until 1976. In that year the former Hong Kong Tourist Association held the first International Dragon Boat Invitational Competition at Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter. It brought international recognitions to the dragon boat race which eventually became a sports competition. As the dragon boat sport gained popularity around the globe, the International Dragon Boat Federation was formed in 1991 during the Hong Kong International Races. The Asian Dragon Boat Federation was formed in Beijing in the following year. The Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association (HKCDBA) and other local groups are dedicated to organising and promoting dragon boat activities in Hong Kong. Team workThe dragon boat sport requires team work. The drummer, paddlers and steersman have to cooperate to attain speed. • Drummer and paddlerStationing on the bow, a drummer is responsible for conducting the tempo of the paddlers. An excellent drummer can help the paddler crew push the envelope. When two boats are getting close or their drumbeats overlap, the drummer has to blow a whistle so that the paddlers at the back of the boat can get the signal to keep up with the tempo. There are three to five ways of drum beating. Different beating sounds represent different ways and speed of paddling. The crew have to paddle in accordance with the drum beats. The more uniformly the crew paddles, the faster the boat will go. • SteersmanA steersman is responsible for keeping the boat to move in a straight course. A skilful steersman can help the boat accelerate by reducing drag when he minimises the contact between the boat and the water surface. The steersman needs to keep the flat part of the rudder beneath the water during the whole course of the race, and is not allowed to make any move that would induce thrust. In general, persons having reached the age of 12 and with the ability of swimming 50 metres are eligible to join this sport. If you are interested in taking training courses on the dragon boat sport, please contact the HKCDBA at 3618 7510 or visit their website. You may also look for training classes provided by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

One-stop online resources recommended by LCSD

During the fight against COVID-19, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has launched a "Edutainment Channel" to enrich the lives of the public during this period regardless of whether venues are open or closed. The public can now view or participate in multi-faceted leisure and cultural activities that suit all ages from the comfort of their homes. SportsAppeal and Demonstration by Sports StarsHealthy Exercise for All Campaign - Interactive GameParent-child ActivitiesExercise in the WorkplaceSimple Circuit TrainingEasy Aerobic DanceRope Skipping for Fun MuseumsHong Kong Museum of Art on Google Arts & Culture ProjectHong Kong Heritage Museum on Google Arts & Culture ProjectHong Kong Museum of Art “Classics Remix: The Hong Kong Viewpoint - Animations”ICH On-lineOi! - One minute of VoidOi! - Workout WednesdayRadio Television Hong Kong Journey through the Museums Librariese-Content Highlights: Healthy LivingChildren Picture and Story BooksHong Kong Memory15-Minute Read (Content in Chinese only)Elderly (Content In Chinese only) MusicHong Kong Chinese Orchestra "Together, We Fight the Virus"Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra "Synergizing Hong Kong with Heartening Sound of the Drums"Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra Next Station Moon by Ng King-panHK Phil — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 conducted by Jaap van ZwedenHK Phil Europe Tour 2015, Vienna - Musikverein Wien (Full Length)Musicus Fest 2019 — Vivaldi: Concerto for Violin and Cello in B-flat by Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with Noah Bendix-Balgley (Violin) and Trey Lee (Cello)Premiere Performances of Hong Kong "Beare’s Premiere Music Festival" — Mendelssohn OctetWindpipe Chinese Music Ensemble — Huqin Ensemble: Pacing Horses in the Countryside in Spring TheatreHKRep [Facebook Performace Rewind]World Cultures Festival 2019: Ibsen’s Ghosts: A Play-reading and interactive commentary event by theatre du pif* DanceR&T (Rhythm & Tempo) Tap Dance Lession (1)* Multi-ArtsWorld Cultures Festival 2019 Special outdoor programme: Nobody but a princess… by phase7 performing.artsInteractive Lighting Installation - Magic Behind the Moon by Hung Keung in celebration of 2019 Mid-autumn FestivalCircular Reflection by Hung Keung and Alex Cheung in celebration of opening of the Salisbury Garden Family EntertainmentInternational Arts Carnival 2019: The Nightingale by The Only Stage*BE KIDS Bi Li Ba La Fun Time (1)*Jumbo Kids Theatre's Classroom (1)* *In Cantonese (For more details, please visit LCSD "Edutainment Channel")

The pilot scheme of Tuen Mun Park inclusive play space (Architectural Services Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department)

The Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) have introduced the first inclusive playground in Hong Kong at Tuen Mun Park with two natural elements of “water” and “sand” in the design. This playground aims at providing a well-designed environment which allows children of different ages and abilities to equally enjoy a variety of physical, sensory and social play experiences. Children can take up challenges commensurate with their ability and interact with others while enjoying themselves in this playful environment. COMMUNITY DESIGN AND USER-ORIENTED APPROACH To respond to the demand for inclusive play spaces, ArchSD and LCSD swiftly implemented the winning schemes of the Inclusive Play Space Design Ideas Competition. Only a month after the competition, ArchSD had already completed the master layout plan and worked closely with LCSD on this project through exchange of ideas and inter-departmental design workshops. ArchSD and LCSD believe that the playground should be user-oriented. Stakeholders of various sectors were invited to join a series of focus group workshops and potential users’ views were collected. School children from Tuen Mun were invited to contribute ideas on the design of the sensory walls and the floor pattern of the water play area. The amazingly creative ideas of the children were gathered and seamlessly incorporated in the final design. The Tuen Mun District Council was also consulted and a swing area with feature swings were introduced to address the requests of the local community. COLLABORATE CLOSELY TO CATER TO DIFFERENT NEEDS To strike a balance between safety, enjoyment and inclusiveness, ArchSD and LCSD adopted an innovative approach to the design and management of the playground. Through collaborative team meetings and training workshops throughout the design and construction stages, the two departments discussed the management and maintenance arrangement of the playground, and all front-line staff were familiar with the inclusive design concept as well as the maintenance standard of the play equipment. ArchSD also customised suitable tools and accessories to facilitate the safe and effective work of LCSD’s team. Besides, ArchSD and LCSD had invited school children and professional bodies to join the experiencing workshops and trial play sessions, which not only promoted the project but also served as trial runs. Both departments could also observe the usage, survey users’ opinions, and conduct evaluation for the continuous improvement of the playground facilities and management. SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT AND SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION The playground has been very popular and well received by the public, with extensive media coverage and shares on social media platforms. The concept of inclusive play has been successfully promoted in Hong Kong through this pilot project. It has won Gold Award 2018 presented by the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, the Special Architectural Award – Inclusive Design presented by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, and the Annual Design Award presented by ArchSD, and has gained recognition from various government departments as well as committees on children and barrier-free affairs. Frequent site visits to the Park were held to share the experience gained. (The video is provided by Development Bureau) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)


Lifeguard Leung Wing Yin said, “Many people think that lifeguards simply enjoy the sun when on duty.  This is definitely not the case!  We are responsible for rescuing the swimmers in distress and providing first aid in cases of drowning.  Besides, we have to keep the venues clean and in good order.” Lifeguard Ho Wing Yin said, “We also conduct regular training and sometimes mobilisation drill exercises for rescue operations for a variety of situations in order to best equip ourselves for emergencies.” Please watch the video for more information about the job duties of lifeguards. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page

Duties of a Lifeguard – Beyond Life Saving

Whether at a beach or a pool, you can always see lifeguards standing guard on the watch out platforms. You may question: is swimming the only requirement for recruiting lifeguards? Is saving drowned people their only daily duty?Here are 8 other duties of lifeguards that you may not know: 1.    Keep the venue clean2.    Maintain the order of the venue3.    Conduct equipment inspection to ensure they are sufficient and functioning4.    Carry out tasks assigned by superiors5.    Perform routine training6.    Clean the beach7.    Remove rubbish from the sea 8.    Check whether the tiles and rubber bumpers are in good condition  Lifeguard Leung Wing Yin said, “Many people see lifeguards as simply enjoying the sun when they are on duty.” In fact, they are responsible for rescuing swimmers and providing first aid in cases of drowning, in addition to all the duties listed above.At the beach, lifeguards have to clear oyster shells on the stairs of floating platforms and mosses on float balls, as well as to remove rubbish from the sea. Lifeguards serving at swimming pools have to check whether the tiles and rubber bumpers are in good condition. Lifeguard Ho Wing Yin said, “Taking precautions is more important than lifesaving.”Regular training and team drills for rescue operations are also conducted to keep lifeguards best-fit for emergencies at all times.The daily job of lifeguards is not simply lifesaving, but also preventing swimmers from injury. This is why they always keep themselves well-trained and work at their best. Contributing Editor: Sophie