The 24th Jockey Club Elite Coaches Conference - From Experience in Rio Olympics to Gearing Up for Tokyo
The Jockey Club Elite Coaches Conference, which aims at providing a platform for overseas and mainland China experts as well as local coaching professionals to exchange ideas on sports coaching, is part of the Jockey Club Elite Coaching Development Programmes. The Programmes, together with the Jockey Club Coaching Accreditation Programmes and the Jockey Club Community Education and Coach Recognition Programmes, are all under the Hong Kong Jockey Club Coach Education Programme funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust with a donation of some HK$9.7 million since November 2015 to further support the career development of coaches.
The 24th Jockey Cub Elite Coaches Conference, jointly-organised by the Hong Kong Coaching Committee (HKCC) and the All-China Sports Federation, took place on 3 December at the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI). This year’s Conference, under the theme of “Quest for Excellence – From Rio to Tokyo”, had invited six coaching and sports science experts as speakers to share their key success at the last Olympics and also exchange on some important training strategies as continuing their pathway to the next Olympics.
Mr Adam Koo, Chairman of the HKCC, and Mr Long Shengjun, Director General, Education Division, Science and Education Department, General Administration of Sport in China, officiated together at the opening ceremony of the Conference.
Mr Koo, speaking at the opening ceremony, thanked the speakers and also the All-China Sports Federation for its continuous support as well as The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for its sponsorship of the Conference to back up and promote coach education in the territory. Concluding his speech, he said, “I wish all the coaches can fully make use of this opportunity to exchange views with the experts and representatives of sports industry, and be able to apply the experience gained today on your daily training in hope of cultivating more talented and competitive elite athletes.”
Mr Long welcomed all the speakers and attending experts and coaches. He said coach was not only the lead and core of sports training, but also a key factor determining athletes’ success, so enhancing Chinese coaches’ capability and standard of coaching had been of concern to them. He added, “We also pay much attention on Hong Kong’s coach education with active provision of support by inviting high level coaches and speakers to attend the Conference, so that all coaches can thoroughly understand the principles of elite training and learn new training skills, thus increasing their ability and standards.”
The first speaker at the Conference was Mr Li Sun, China Women's Table Tennis National Coach, who has coached the China Table Tennis Team for years. He pointed out that, ever since table tennis was first included at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the China Table Tennis Team has streaked ahead by bagging home 28 out of 32 gold medals over the years and such triumph was due to their systematic approach. To explain further, he briefly introduced their daily competitive mechanism and preparations before the Rio Olympics through aspects of sports science including psychology, physical training, research, nutrition, and sports medicine.
Dr Anthony Giorgi, Hong Kong Head Athletics Coach, and the HKSI’s biomechanics team, presented on their “8m Project” initiated in 2013, which targets at lifting the promising long jumper Chan Ming-tai to break the eight-metre-record. They also illustrated the theories and introduced the sports technology applied that successfully helped Chan leap progressively and, eventually, become the first-ever Hong Kong athlete jumping beyond eight-metre and reaching the world class level.
The third speaker, Professor Masahiko Kimura, Chair of Coach Development Committee, All Japan Judo Federation, began his presentation by stating the difficulties faced by the Japan Judo Team in recent years, especially their unexpected failure at the 2012 London Olympics. He then went on to share how they tackled the problems and reinforced their competitiveness subsequently through a wide range of scientific support and strategic planning to win back their victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Dr Yuan Shoulong, Director of Training Department, China National Sports Association, took a more macroscopic approach and spoke on China Team’s Olympic experience and then explained further by showcasing China Women’s Volleyball Team’s comprehensive preparation that led to their victory at the last Olympics. He also outlined a few training theories applied on athletes to improve their performance and lastly concluded by sharing some expectations and challenges ahead for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The last speaker was Mr Shen Jinkang, Hong Kong Head Cycling Coach, who shared the tremendous effort the Hong Kong Cycling Team made for the last Olympics and exchanged his opinions with the audience on the relationship between medal results, training techniques, sports science, coaching team, as well as the influence from the Government, community and athletes per se. Based on his review on the last Olympics, he also talked about some key improvements to be made at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
This year’s Conference brought together over 200 coaches and sport science experts from Hong Kong and mainland China.