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Swimming

Swimming

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 2016/17, the pool re-opens on 7th Feb 2016

Attached the required forms for existing AVOHK swim members and interested swimmers to join up for the new swimming year 2017-18

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.

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 form swim 2013 2014 .DOC
and waiver form swim waiver 2013 2014.DOC

Queries please contact Simon Clarke at Simon.Clark@AllenOvery.com
 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 your underwear.

swim 2013 2014 .DOC

swim waiver 2013 2014.DOC


Masters Swimming in Hong Kong

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 www.hkasa.org.hk 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.


Swimming Facilities

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.


Wanchai Training Pool

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.


Swim Training with AVOHK

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


Links & Resources

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: