VTC alumnus Chan Wing Shing grew up like every other fervent basketball player – joining the school team, playing the Schools Federation tournaments, and then joining a professional team to play in the Division A of Hong Kong Championship basketball league. As opposed to his name, literally meaning “eternal victory”, he did not blindly pursue every win, but instead exposed himself to different experiences in different chapters of his life. From a basketball player to a coach now affectionately known as “Shing Sir”, he founded Hiu Ching Sports Club to let athletes of different ages and skill levels receive professional training, unleashing their full potential. He has forged close ties with his alma mater, giving back to IVE (Haking Wong) by offering training to younger students. He strives to cast positive influences on others’ lives with his passion for basketball.
Passion for basketball; striving for opportunities
As an active and outgoing teenager who was passionate about basketball, Chan Wing Shing was picked to play in the school team when he was in junior secondary school. But he admitted that traditional education wasn’t working for him. As he was about to graduate, his teacher told him about Yeo Chei Man Senior Secondary School, the predecessor of Yeo Chei Man Youth College, which offered vocational and applied learning courses. Chan made the bold decision right away and transferred to Yeo Chei Man for a tourism and hospitality programme. After the HKCE exam, he was enrolled in VTC School of Business and Information Systems and the Higher Diploma in Tourism Studies at IVE (Haking Wong). Besides gaining a deep understanding of the tourism industry and its people-oriented nature, he also got the chance to work as an intern at a travel agency. He was later hired by Ngong Ping 360 in charge of providing guided tours and running the souvenir shop. The job revealed his potential in customer relations, organisation skills and leadership, while greatly broadening his horizons.
When Chan was not in a class or at work, you could always find him on the basketball court. As the captain of the IVE (Haking Wong) Basketball Team, he put in lots of blood, sweat and tears to work closely with other players as a team, striving for good results. Later on, he was elected the Chairman of the Basketball Association, in charge of promoting the sport on campus. Not only did he invite other school teams for friendly matches, but also arranged training sessions for his teammates to hone their skills. The invaluable experience exposed him to different facets of the sport. He said, “I learned to write a proposal. I made contacts with different departments of the school and collaborated with them. I built a network of connections. I learned to organise and manage different activities. I even got the first taste of being a referee. It made me understand that basketball isn’t just about playing a game on the court. I was inspired and I have set my career direction ever since.”
Playing in professional team to accumulate experience
With his excellent physical fitness, Chan Wing Shing was asked to join the youth training programme offered by the Citizen, a professional basketball team in Division B of Hong Kong Championship basketball league, before he graduated from IVE. He made the cut and officially played for the team. After his graduation, he played several games for the Citizen in the first-string lineup. He was then signed by Yuk Fai, a team in Division A2. With Chan on the team, they won the championship of the division the following year and was promoted to Division A1. According to him, he might not have the opportunity to experience the world of basketball beyond a school team, if it wasn’t for the IVE Haking Wong Basketball Team as a springboard.
Early on in his sporting career, Chan Wing Shing was already planning ahead. As a high-intensity contact sport, basketball is highly demanding in terms of strength, agility and stamina. Performance is highly contingent upon factors like the age and past injuries of a player. The prime of an athlete’s career is very short. For long-term career planning in sports-related sectors, one needs a broader knowledge base and more diversified development. In addition to team training, he chose to pursue further education and garner professional qualifications such as a fitness coach. The team coach appreciated his diligence and in the fifth year after he joined the team, he was appointed as an assistant coach in charge of teaching participants of the youth training programme every summer. His assumption of a different role in the team also sparked his interest in founding his own sports club.
Catering to players’ difference in skills and abilities
Being an assistant coach, Chan was the happiest when he found talented players to boost his team’s performance. On the other hand, he was sad to see some young people not making the cut simply because they weren’t the crème de la crème. After the youth training programme ended that summer, they would have no access to further training and some of them might just give up the sport as a result. He believed that some players who got cut were diamonds in the rough. Yet, with limited resources, major basketball teams tend to focus on training only the top elite players, meaning even reasonably good players won’t make it to receive formal training.
In 2013, after communicating with his team coach, Chan began to train some of these deselected young players in his spare time and built an amateur basketball team. He named this group of passionate players who shot hoops on Hiu Ming Street in Kwun Tong “Hiu Ching”— Hiu for Hiu Ming Street, Ching being the Chinese word for youth. The team participated in amateur basketball tournament and became the precursor of Hiu Ching Sports Club. They might not be the best players, but they were definitely the most enthusiastic ones. Shing Sir hoped to establish a platform for players to receive formal training even if they seldom won on the court. The key was to instil among them a positive attitude towards learning and life. As time marches on, Hiu Ching attracted teenagers of different ages and backgrounds in the community to play basketball together.
Just a year after its formation, Hiu Ching had developed into a basketball community with more than 20 players and Shing Sir decided to launch Hiu Ching Sports Club which has been building basketball teams with teenagers of various ages since then. He even invited some technically established basketball players whom he trained before to join his team as coaches. After ten years of hard work, the Sports Club is now home to more than 20 amateur basketball teams covering primary and secondary school students, teenagers and adults, with more than 10 coaches, as well as 200 players and trainees.
Basketball connects parents and children
Shing Sir wears many hats equally well: he is the founder and head coach of Hiu Ching Sports Club, an assistant coach of Division A and a coach of Division B of the Hong Kong Basketball Association, as well as the head basketball coach of many primary and secondary schools. Under Shing Sir’s influence, his son is also a basketball player. “Perhaps it’s because he has been watching me play and teach basketball since he was little. I also incorporate game-based elements to basketball training to make it a fun parent-child activity. That might have made him to fall in love with basketball. However, I’m his coach, not his dad when we’re practising on the court. So, even my little boy has to call me Shing Sir.”
As a father, Shing Sir found that basketball can be a fun-filled activity that bolster parent-child interaction, while teaching children self-discipline, boosting their self-esteem, and fostering team spirit among them. In recent years, Hiu Ching has been running a number of summer training camps and hobby classes specifically for children and teenagers. Sports classes and after-school basketball training for children have also been hugely popular among parents who speak highly of the Sports Club. Shing Sir has also been recruiting new blood into the Sport Club to build momentum for sustainable development.
Giving back to alma mater; supporting younger players
Committed to promoting basketball as a sport and as a form of education, Shing Sir aims to develop a professional and diversified career in sports. “I live my life to positively influence others. I believe that my passion for basketball can inspire young people.” He thanked his alma mater for the education he received, allowing him to flexibly apply his knowledge in tourism to the management of his Sports Club. A tour agency and a sports club have one thing in common – people always come first. No matter working in the hospitality industry or in sports-related sectors, one must be equipped with different skills to explore the boundless possibilities of personal development. Shing Sir never forgets about his alma mater for her nurturing grace. That’s why he always makes time to train younger VTC students despite his busy schedule.
IVE Haking Wong Basketball Team received a generous donation earlier, from an alumnus Mr Terence Ng Choi-wah who sponsored student basketball players for a training trip in Japan. The students also had a chance to play against Japanese college teams and learn from them in the process. Shing Sir also travelled with the group alongside another VTC alumnus and fitness coach Chan Ching-wai. Shing Sir is grateful that he could contribute to the team with his professional knowledge, helping younger players improve their skills and performance. He hopes to inspire the younger generations with his own experience, while giving back to his alma mater and its basketball team.
Looking into the future, Shing Sir hopes that Hiu Ching Sports Club could maintain its diversified development while consistently elevating the quality of the training and classes it offers. He aims to build an elite basketball team while popularising the sport. He also works hard to collaborate with different charities and trade organisations, in a view to promote sports education and to nurture younger generations with commitment, motivation and enthusiasm, who make remarkable contributions to the society.
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