HKUWHA members spent this past weekend in Shenzhen for our first ever event outside of Hong Kong. This was really exciting because we got to meet our fellow UWH players from neighboring Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Zhuhai and spent around 7 hours in the pool across Saturday and Sunday.
After a bit of a late start on Saturday due to unexpected traffic and a long taxi queue at Shenzhen Port , the 9 of us – Coaches Nowie and Darren, plus Henry, Anna, Susan, Flora, Rox, Tony, and Chelssy – met with the Chinese players at the pool in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. The first hour or so was spent playing games so that the coaches (Nowie and Darren were joined by Coach Yutao from China) could get an idea of what techniques and areas to focus on over the weekend.
The pool training on Saturday ran from about 12:00PM to 3:00PM, with the coaches leading breathing and swimming drills after the initial games. We wrapped up the afternoon with some more games, trying to keep warm in the increasingly cold pool. Between the 36 participants that were there for the weekend, there was plenty of time for both playing and observing (as substitutes), and definitely time to pose for some photos!
The Saturday pool session was followed by a 3-hour strategy session held at a cafe. We finally got to see what everyone looked like without a mask/snorkel on through the introductions, and munched on some yummy carbs as the three coaches taught positioning and formations. For a lot of the newer players, it was the first time learning about hockey beyond just the basic swimming with a puck and a stick, and there were some really good questions from the audience about the correct positioning for the players during games.
On Saturday evening, some of the HKUWHA players went to eat “Coconut Chicken” hot pot and enjoyed some great live music while we ate. But after that, it was time for bed so we could be at the pool for the Sunday morning pool session!
Sunday started out with more swimming drills along with some passing/puck handling, and we topped off the weekend with some more games! It was great to see everyone’s improvement over just two days of training – formations and positioning improved significantly as people became more aware of where to be and who to look for, rather than all rushing towards the puck at once. We went for some good old hot pot (yes, again) afterwards and were headed back to Hong Kong by the late afternoon.
It was great to meet all the players from China, and it was really nice for HKUWHA members to get to spend some time with each other to bond as a team. Thanks all who came out – especially to Kevin and La Nina from Shenzhen for organizing, and to our three coaches Nowie, Darren and Yutao for coaching – it was an awesome weekend and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!