Activity Procedure2018-08-23T06:54:57+08:00

Activity Procedure


AVOHK participates in the HKAAA organised cross country events. You can run as an individual and in a team.  If you run as part of a team your individual result will also count.

Recently the HKAAA cross country series has gone from a series to one race and the relay events has been removed, however this could change so watch out for news

For information about the Hong Kong Cross Country Championships please refer to

Please note that to count as a part of the team you have to be a HKAAA member.  We also have to register you as a member three weeks before the race. All those who wish to take part and who are not HKAAA members, please urgently download and fill in the form for membership on the HKAAA website (  send it to ‘The Club Captain, AVOHK, PO BOX 28893, Gloucester Road,  together with your cheque for $80 payable to “Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association Ltd” and two photos of yourself for membership.

If you are a number already and want to take part, please provide your HKAAA number, year of birth and name as in ID Card.

Martin Kennard is co-ordinating team events please contact him on


AVOHK want to reinstate our team entries to local road, trail and track races when a team option is offered.  Many of the HK marathon Pro organised races have teams as does the HKAAA organised HK half marathon in January.
Everyone is welcome.

Martin Kennard will be co-ordinating all team entries bar track events

To find out about the latest track meets and to enter a track race through AVOHK please contact us

Mark Reeves will be co-ordinating the track entries  –  more info here when we have an event to publicise.


The Sedan Chair Race  is an annual  Hong Kong charity event in which teams take part in a race carrying a Sedan Chair.  There are several categories in the race, AVOHK participate as a serious team along the  2.1km road loop around Mount Kellet on the Peak, carrying the chair and  passenger (human, alive, over 18).    The Race is held in a real carnival atmosphere and over the years has helped raise many millions of dollars for small,  Hong Kong based charities.

There is plenty of info on  the event web site


AVOHK members and friends get together for a training  run every Saturday – the new start time is now 9.00am. from the Wanchai Gap Playground.(Summer  May 1st to September 30th 8.30am start)

During the “off season” hotter summer months this run turns into the Golden Boot.

The standard run is a 12km loop from Wanchai Gap into the Aberdeen country park.   What works well with the course is that people looking to run shorter of slower can take a couple of short cuts, still get a good work out, and finish at the same time as everyone else.  As the run is getting more popular there should be some on in the group who will match your pace.  Peter Hopper is co ordinating and he sends out a weekly email to include people who might be, could be, should be, interested in a shuffle round and to include new folks who have expressed an interest to join in. Contact him to be added to the list.

There is  a simple route map please click below.

Wanchai Gap playground has a kiosk and toilets.  There is a childrens playground and seating area.  Easy access by bus, car and taxi.  There is usually a bag drop in someones car.

Peter Hopper on 91913831 or

Wanchai Gap Run.ppt

Social Runs

Freeman Lee organises a weekly Saturday afternoon social run 16:30 on meeting at the Hong Kong Tennis Centre Wong Nai Chung Gap Road.

Monthly Social Run:  7pm 1st Wednesday of each month.  Meet at Hopwell Centre in front of HSBC ATM.  Contact:  Frank Riehm 9423 5422.

AVOHK 2016 Christmas Social Run is in Sai Kung Country Park.  Date to be confirmed


Sai Kung Track on Tuesdays is getting a good size regular group turning out for a speedy session .  Session changes each week and there is a range of paces. Typical mid season sessions would include 800m and 1km repeats but as the weather becomes hotter attention is expected to turn to shorter sharper sprint repeats. There is a cross section of runners at the track.

If you are put off by the trek from the city, bear in mind that the running track is just a few paces away from bars and restaurants a plenty. The track has clean showers and lockers for your togs.  For more information about this run contact contact AVOHK

Warm up 7:00 to start  7.15pm.

There are often groups there other days of the week and the track is open to the public all day, unless a booking has been made for a school track meet.


The HKLRRC meet at Shatin Track on a Wednesday , warm up 6.30 for a 7.00pm start.  Session varies and caters for a range of speeds and levels.  Lead by Gillian Castka .  See for details.


There are various track meets held over the year.  Pete Digiovanni is the AVOHK club captain and can enter you for these.  Usually you need to enter a week or so in advance .  Our calendar will have a list of meets as will the HKAAA event calendar on their website


The Wanchai Training Pool is a 50 metre pool and AVOHK reserve lanes.  The lane costs are recovered  from swimmers who sign up to use the pool but we limit this number of swimmers on a first-come, first-served basis.

For swimmers in the year of 2018 the pool closes on 23 Dec 2017 and re-opens on 12 Feb 2018.

Attached the required forms for existing AVOHK swim members and interested swimmers to join up for the new swimming year 2018.

Please get your forms and cheques in early if you want to be guaranteed a spot.

Pool swimming times and joining procedures will be more or less the same as in the past.

We have arranged the following times:-

  • Monday – Thursday: 12-2pm with 2-3 lanes
  • Friday mornings: 8-9am with 1 lane
  • Saturdays: 1-2pm with 1 lane

AVOHK annual membership fees are payable at $150/person or over 60 yrs $75/person – see membership section of website for full details.

Please note that not only must annual AVOHK fees be paid but an application form must also be filled in each year by each swimming member. This is on the website or attached.

As in past years – administration is kept to a minimum so there are no receipts for the swimming fee – (AVOHK will send one for theirs) and no swimming division membership cards issued automatically.  A list of current paid-up swimmers will be kept at the pool entrance and regular checks will take place.

For those who would like to make a direct e-transfer to AVOHK’s accounts, the details are as follows:-

  • Account no: 018 363 366 001
  • Bank: HSBC
  • Name of Account: Athletic Veterans of Hong Kong

You must copy us the confirmation slip after the transaction is completed, otherwise we will not know you have paid and you will not be on the list.

Forms to join as swim member  2018 AVOHK Swimming 
and waiver form 2018-avohk-swim-waiver

Queries please contact Simon Clarke at
A Register is maintained on the table at the entrance and members should PRINT their names legibly before entering the pool. Members with a guest should write their guest’s name with the word GUEST against their name. Guests may not enter unattended and it will be the responsibility of the member to teach their guest pool etiquette, generally be responsible for them and introduce them to other members if time permits. An entrance card is attached to the Register. This card should be swiped over the pool turnstile in order to gain entry.

Please use common sense navigation and always have an awareness of other swimmers. Swim counter-clockwise and stay to the right of the centre line. This is especially important if you swim short-axis strokes. When passing, tap the feet once and pass on the left. If you are approaching the wall and you have been tapped, keep to the right when you turn. Always be aware of and give way to faster swimmers and if a faster swimmer is coming through, adjust your rest times so they do not have to pass you immediately after you leave the wall. Keep to the right when resting at the wall. Faster swimmers should use Lane 1 at all times, and slower swimmers and non-Olympic breast strokers should use Lane 2 or (where available) Lane 3.

Members have lost the occasional tie, panties, running shoes etc from the changing room. Whilst digital combination lockers are provided, you may wish to include a padlock as part of your swimming kit, since the natty electronic devices seem designed mainly to amuse the kids rather than keep your kit safe. But be sure to remember not only the combination you set… but also your locker number, otherwise you might be waiting a long time to retrieve personal items.


AVOHK Swimming Co ordinator is Simon Clarke he can register you for swimming membership.

Masters meets give you the incentive for training, you swim in your age group and the distances are short enough to finish in style and find out what you are really capable of doing. There are only heats (each of which is essentially a timed final) and you can enter in up to 3 events as an individual, and take part with your AVOHK colleagues as a team in the relays.

AVOHK has a Masters Co-ordinator , currently Simon Clarke who not only takes care of the annual registration procedure but also takes care of entries forms for the Masters meets. After deciding which events you would like to enter, you simply email the Masters Co-ordinator at least 3 weeks in advance and we’ll take care of your entry.

There are 5 Masters meets during the year which take place on Saturday afternoons from 1:00pm – 6:00pm. Check out the event calendar at for the next Masters meet.

Masters meets give you the incentive for training, you swim in your age group and the distances are short enough to finish in style and find out what you are really capable of doing. There are only heats (each of which is essentially a timed final) and you can enter in up to 3 events as an individual, and take part with your AVOHK colleagues as a team in the relays. If you happen to be in the top three of your age group, you will receive some very nice Gold, Silver or Bronze Masters medals. It is not unusual to win a medal for your age group, even though you might have come last in your heat.

To finish the meet within an afternoon, the same format is used at all meets. The individual events you can enter are Men’s and Womens 50M Freestyle, Breaststroke, Backstroke, Butterfly; 100M Freestyle, Breastroke and 200M Individual Medley. The team events are 4 x 50M Freestyle, 4 x 50M Medley relays and participants in the relays are decided by the team members present during the meet.

Relay events are based on the combined age of the 4 participants and cannot be under and nor reach the next age group. The groups ar 100yrs & over, 120yrs & over, 160yrs & over, 200yrs & over, 240yrs & over, 280yrs & over, 320yrs & over, 360yrs & over.

There are always 18 events and the order of events (alternating Men/Women swimming the same stroke and distance is – 50M Freestyle; 100M Breastroke; 200M Individual Medley; 50M Backstroke; 50M Butterfly; Medley Relay; 50M Breastroke; 100M Freestyle ; Freestyle Relay.


Hong Kong is blessed with more 50m pools than exist in the entire UK (they have nine, by the way). Here’s where to find our pools, though do check out their infamous three-sessions-per-day policy as the pool management seem to be organising snack times to coincide with what the paying public describe as peak hours.


One of the most sought-after training locations is the Wanchai Training Pool on Harbour Road, adjacent to the Great Eagle & Harbour Centres. This pool is not open to the public and lanes are rented to bona fide sports clubs. AVOHK rents lanes during weekday lunchtimes.


This section has a summary of Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion techniques, lessons and drills from his Total Immersion book and video – which are based on his observations of champion swimmers. Do refer to his book/video for a more detailed explanation as you will unlikely find these drills explained on the Total Immersion web site. Each drill is a progression of skills to rebuild your swimming technique. If you use your training sessions to focus on and practice these drills, the improvement should astound you…

In the back of your mind, you probably think it is better to churn out the distance and do the occasional sprints. The sad truth is that if you want to swim better, faster and easier, you need to condition your muscles to learn the correct techniques and then maintain that correct action at speed.

The learning curve will be different for everyone but you will know when you have mastered each drill since your body will let you know how stabilised and comfortable it feels. For starters, you should memorise the names of the lessons and drills in each lesson and understand what they are trying to do for you. These lessons really make you work harder only in the sense that you have to concentrate and stay focused on your stroke technique. Click on the Lesson headers below to review the drills.

Lesson 1 – Get Balanced

The most common cause of poor balance occurs when turning the head to breathe – the hips drop and the legs fishtail. The 3 drills here teach you to how to use the natural buoyancy of your body to stay afloat and balanced.

  • Drill 1 (Press the Buoy) – face down kicking gently with arms relaxed against side and breathe by lifting head forward. Head aligned with hips, press the buoy (chin to sternum) to raise your hips and legs. Hips should feel light and you swim relaxed.
  • Drill 2 (On your Back) – start on back kicking easily with arms against side, head position as though holding an orange. Press buoy until your balance feels natural and easy.
  • Drill 3 (Roll to Breathe) – alternate between Drill 1 and 2. Start on front and roll slowly over onto back to breathe. The body rolls and the head follows (the head does not lead) and when balanced, roll to front.

Lesson 2 – Get Longer
These drills are not difficult if you have an efficient kick. If your kick is tiring and not very effective (probably bending the knee too much), practice kicking vertically for 15 seconds at a time or wear zoomers. These 3 drills help make yourself longer in the water which reduces resistance.

  • Drill 4 (Get Longer) – similiar to drill 1 but both arms extend in front with one hand over the wrist of the other, elbows hyper-extended. Squeeze shoulders against jaw while looking at hands. Breathe by moving chin forward. Press the buoy to stay balanced.
  • Drill 5 – (Roll with One Arm) – start like drill 4 but stroke with one arm and roll the body to breather and not lift or turn the head. Pull the hand down the centerline of the body and when rolling, belly button to face the side wall. Later practice with the other arm.
  • Drill 6 – (Roll with Alternate Arms) – like drill 5 but breathe with every stroke and turn it into a smooth coordinated action. Stroke only when you have pressed the buoy and feel balanced and stable. If the action is correct, your extended arms should feel weightless.

Lesson 3 – Swim on your Side
You glide most easily in the water on your side so you need to spend more time there. I’m sure you would rather be a yacht than a barge in the water. These 4 drills introduce you to side swimming. The 4th drill in this lesson (or drill 10 in this series) introduces the concept that you should use the rotational power from your torso to drive yourself through the water.

  • Drill 7 (Side Sliding) – your under arm is extended and the upper arm is by your side. Turn your chin just far enough to breathe comfortably. Hip and shoulder should point straight up and kick is compact. As you swallow half the pool, recall that balancing in this position goes against every instinct. Keep your head and rib cage pressed firmly into the water and don’t lift your head to breathe. Practice, practice, practice on one side and then the other until it feels natural.
  • Drill 8 (Slide Front Slide) – roll from one side to the other while staying balanced. Starting on one side, slowly slide your hand up your hip like you are taking it out of your pocket, and then drag the thumb up your side like you are pulling up a zipper. As your hand passes your face, roll back towards the facedown position and cover the other out stretched hand as your roll onto your stomach. Pause for balance and then stroke and roll onto the other side. The key is to balance well in each of the three positions and when changing position; practice until it feels comfortable.
  • Drill 9 (Three-Count Slide & Glide) – as you speed up the tempo of the body roll, you need to learn how to hold the body position. Starting on the side, count one thousand, two thousand, three thousand and then drag your hand up your side and place it over the extended arm in front. Pause and kick in a balanced position for the same three-count. Stroke with the other arm; roll to the side and kick for three counts in a balanced position. You must have three counts in each position.
  • Drill 10 (Power Glide) – the drills so far reduce drag but now you need to add power. Good propulsion has little to do with arm strength – it all starts with the hips. Moving forward more powerfully comes from simple improvements in coordination and not from lots of grueling training. When you roll, moving everything at the same time gets the maximum amount of mass moving in the same direction. If you move your hips with more snap, your arms no longer need to have to pull on the water, they simply hold onto it as the body roll drives the arm back. Start by making sure your hips and not your head move first. After the arm has begun the pull, the head and torso move at once as though they are glued together and the whole body rolls like a log. Add more snap to the hips and you feel a more powerful surge but try to hard and you will lose the power. When the coordination feels consistent, progressively add more snap to the hips until you feel a slight loss of control or smoothness and then practice below this threshold. This drill teach your body to roll from one side directly to the other whilst swapping your hands in front of your head.

Kevin Francis


This section lists some of the excellent resources available on the net for you to surf and assimilate.

With his customary wit, Kevin Francis wrote a series of articles for the monthly newsletter in 1998 entitled Stroking It, Getting Help to Stroke It, How I Stroke Mine and finally – How to Recover from Stroking it Too Much. Although these articles are not reproduced here, they focused on the importance of stroke technique so as to provide better propulsion with reduced drag. The desire to go faster is what compels us most of us to train, but since swimming is 90% technique and only 10% power, it helps greatly to understand some important principles.

If you haven’t already checked it out, there is a review of the Total Immersion drills in the section under Swimming Tips on this site.

And here are some of the other excellent resources available:



To the Members of AVOHK

The Annual General Meeting of AVOHK for 2018 will be held in June at Cafe 8 above the Hong Kong Martime Museum, Pier 8 Central Piers.

The evening comprises of a meeting including presentation of the AVOHK Athlete of the Year awards and electing a new committee for the coming year.  If you cannot attend the meeting but wish to be on the next committee or involved more closely with AVOHK please contact Colin Whittington email or through the enquiry