If your little one is a budding Serena Williams or Michael Jordan, Hong Kong can be a tricky place to live. After all, most of us are seriously short on outdoor space, and not everyone lives on a compound with facilities. Well, not to fear as we’ve uncovered some of the best sports classes and programmes in the ‘Kong covering everything from basketball and hockey, to fencing and martial arts – and lots in between!
One of the most comprehensive children’s basketball programmes in Hong Kong, ESF Basketball caters to children aged 5 and up and provide classes and competitions for all skill levels. Coaches focus particularly on teaching correct technique from the very beginning, which helps players throughout their basketball career.
Tiny Tots Basketball
Specialists in bringing sports to little ones between 18 months and 5 years, the folks at Tiny Tots introduce the basics of basketball through physical play (such as movement coordination and balancing) as well as musical and visual stimulation. Their autumn term classes are now available for registration at venues around Hong Kong.
The YWCA offer a great range of kids’ sports classes, and their Mini Basketball course runs over the whole autumn term for three months. Age-appropriate classes are available for children from Walking up to 4 years and will have them throwing, catching and dribbling the ball like pros in no time!
DANCE and GYMNASTICS
For little dancers, Hong Kong offers all the usual suspects – Jazz, Hip Hop, Street Dance and of course Classical Ballet. For the full details on our favourite studios and classes check out our recent rundown here. And for tiny tumblers, Multi-Sport offers gymnastics and dedicated trampolining classes for kids from 3 – 12 years old at the French International School. Get their Fall schedule here. The YWCA also offers gymnastics classes for 3-6 years old, as well as little tiny tots tumbling classes for the under 3 crowd.
Clearwater Bay Equestrian and Education Centre
With an emphasis on fun, safe riding and prioritising the welfare of their horses, the CEEC is the ideal place to experience horse riding in Hong Kong. Catering to all levels of experience, the centre offers lessons in everything from basic riding technique to how to tack your horse, all under strict supervision from one of their experienced instructors. Members can ride regularly throughout the year, whilst non-members tend to ride on weekday mornings and during the school holidays.
Hong Kong Jockey Club Public Riding Schools
With three convenient locations in Tuen Mun, Pokfulam and Lei Yue Mun, the HKJC riding schools have riding covered. Children between ages 6-14 can register for pony riding lessons for just HK$305/lesson, and those aged 15 and above can ride with horses for HK$375/lesson. You’ll need to bring your own equipment (although helmets are available for hire at the schools).
Lo Wu Saddle Club
Situated in the rural New Territories near the Mainland border, there’s something for every horse lover here. The combination of peaceful countryside and experienced, BHS qualified instructors makes for a pretty perfect riding session. The Lo Wu Saddle Club was the first independent riding club in Hong Kong with over 50 years of history and they are justifiably proud of their experience.
Hong Kong Fencing Union
Want them to know their Foils from their Epees? Emphasising sportsmanship, respect for their opponents and dignity, the HK Fencing Union are passionate advocates of sport fencing enthusiasts, young and old.
i-Fencing Alliance Club
Offering fencing classes for all ages and abilities from Beginner to Expert, the i-Fencing Alliance Club coaching team is headed up by Mr Chen Wei Jing, a former coach for the HK Ladies Epee team. Check out their website for plenty of photos and videos of the Club in action!
Catering specifically to kids between 3 and 11, Noble Fencing offer regular courses all year round, plus additional summer fun classes during the holidays. All levels are taught, from elementary to advanced.
Hong Kong Football Club Mini Hockey
HKFC Mini Hockey offer basic training, exciting tournaments and lots of fun for Hockey enthusiasts from 6 to 12 years of age. Both professional coaches and parent volunteers are on hand to encourage and teach youngsters this fast-paced sport, and teens can check out the Youth Hockey programme aimed at those between 12 and 18.
Kai Tak Mini Hockey Club
Every Sunday morning from 9.30 to 11, Lok Fu Pitch hosts the Kai Tak Mini Hockey Club. Suitable for little ones aged 6 to 14, in three age groups. All sessions require parental supervision, so this is a great opportunity for the whole family to get involves and socialise!
Kowloon Cricket Club Hockey
With the first hockey match played here in 1907, you could say that the KCC know their way around a hockey stick! The KCC host regular international tournaments and overseas players, making this an opportunity to get involved at a more serious level than your usual interest class. Kids under 12 can play in mini hockey teams which offer the opportunity to take part in a 300-person tournament each year! Serious training continues for kids between 10 and 16 years on their youth teams.
DB Cobras Judo
The DB Cobras offer Judo classes for the whole family, from age 5 up to adult. This unique form of martial art is great fun for girls and boys of all ages, not to mention a serious workout for mama!
Another great way to get involved and train alongside your kids is with a private class from Grips. They offer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Natural Gymnastics for kids aged 5 and up, and can arrange Martial Arts parties too, as well as corporate sessions for adults.
Kenpo Karate at Aberdeen Boat Club
Former USA State and National Champion Sifu Thomas J. Hudak Jr. leads Kenpo classes, open to all ages each Monday and Wednesday. Kids learn basic Karate techniques, self-defence patterns and sparring. The class stresses a non-confrontational approach to life, and students must demonstrate the appropriate technique, discipline and philosophy before advancing to the next belt level.
Flex Studio in Wong Chuk Hang offers a whole loads of kids’ fitness classes (and plenty for Mama too!) but a real stand-out is their Taekwondo coaching. Certified via the Hong Kong Taekwondo Association, the progressive course helps kids on the path to discipline and strength through the practice of this ancient martial art.
Epic Mixed Martial Arts
Epic MMA’s Little Ninjas programme again focuses on instilling personal discipline and building confidence in youngsters. As well as promoting physical exercise, the programme aims to teach kids how to be ‘bully-proof’, to improve dexterity and coordination and to create a sense of personal security.
RugBees is Asia’s first dedicated rugby programme for pre-schoolers, offering a playful introduction to rugby for children from walking up to 5. Each age-appropriate class introduces key motor and social skills in a non-competitive environment, building confidence. Classes draw on stories, music, play and creative equipment and are themed. The next term kicks off (!) on 15th September with a Jungle Adventurer theme.
Hong Kong Rugby Football Union
At the HKRFU you’ll find all the rugby training you could want for kids, from Minis (U7s to U12s) to Colts (U14s to U18s). With programmes running across clubs and schools, in class and tournament form, your little one will be leading the pitch at the Sevens before you know it (save us a spot in the South Stand!)
Tiny Tots offer classes specifically for budding rugby enthusiasts between 18 months and 5 years old. You’ll find them at various schools and clubs around Hong Kong.
Hebe Haven Yacht Club
With almost 50 years spent sailing the most beautiful waters in Hong Kong, the Hebe Haven Yacht Club also leads the region in promoting youth sailing through its Development Fund for Youth Sailing programmes. The club’s wide variety of courses includes Youth Race Sailing, and its annual 24hr Dinghy Race for Charity where junior sailors compete continues to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Aberdeen Boat Club
Ahoy there, captains! Since its launch in 2007, ABC’s junior sailing scheme has been a hugely popular. Children years 7 to 11 learn to sail on specially designed dinghies and all training equipment is top notch. If your little one is serious about sailing then this is where you need to head.
Skandia Youth Sailing at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
Junior a bit of a speed demon and itching to get on a race sailboat? Skandia Youth Sailing at the RHKYC offers a comprehensive general/race sailing course for kids of all ages. They also offer holiday, weekend or private courses for the whole family.
Asia Pacific Soccer Schools
With regular classes designed to instil a love of football in both boys and girls from ages 5 to 14, APSS also run an academy programme for advanced level players. Those selected for the academy are coached to a high level, offering the opportunity to try out for the Hong Kong Junior Football League, and progress to the highest levels in the game. If that all sounds a bit serious, rest assured that there are plenty of casual classes and even football themed birthday parties on offer too!
HK Dragons Football Club
Based in DB, the HK Dragons are the only Elite Football League for children in Hong Kong and the perfect place for your junior Beckham to shine! Kids from 8 to 14 years old participate in the Hong Kong Junior Football League, but the club offer classes for all ages and levels.
AC Milan Soccer School
For kids with a flair for Italian football, AC Milan Soccer School runs a variety of programmes in HK and Macau. With coaches who have played at the highest level internationally, this is a serious soccer school for dedicated enthusiasts.
Tiny Tots Soccer
Along with their Basketball and Rugby programmes, Tiny Tots also run soccer school for kids aged 18 months up to 5 years. The soccer continues for kids from 5 to12 years through Olé Soccer School, a year-round academy designed to bring out the fun and skill in soccer for boys and girls.
ESF Sharks Learn to Swim
ESF Sharks Learn to Swim programme offers courses from 18 months upwards. Aquabub and Aquatot allow 18-36 month olds to become comfortable in the water and learn basic skills with their parents. Tadpole, Frog and Goldfish are for 3-5 year olds, with Dolphin and Stingray for the over-5’s all the way up to Seal and Swordfish!
Harry Wright International
In addition to having one of the few infant swimming programmes available (for babies from 4 months up), Harry Wright International is a Premier Swim Club that hosts swim galas, inter-club meets and fun days. A serious swimming club, Hannah Wilson is a former Harry Wright alumnus who recently represented HK at the London Olympic games!
Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association
Founded in the early 1950’s, the HKASA first took part in the Olympic Games in Helsinki 1952 with four swimmers, and now has over 8,000 registered athletes. They are the sole governing body for all swim sports in HK and you’ll find plenty of professional guidance here for your little fish.
Hong Kong International Tennis Academy
Offering the much-lauded Monster Tennis programme with specialised children’s equipment and teaching aids, The HKITA aim to develop basic tennis skills in kids between 2-6 years old with a focus on fun.
Hong Kong Tennis Association
HKTA offer in-depth tennis tuition, covering amateur junior players up to those who wish to achieve elite or national level standard. Their Kindergarten Mini-Tennis tour travels around HK to promote the sport amongst 3-6 year olds and is a fun way for schools to get involved with new sport coaching.
Fast-Start Tennis at TennisLife
Fast-Start Tennis is a fun and fully developed structure of courses that introduces your little one to the world of tennis. Older kids in the programme can also join one of the most comprehensive junior inter-school tennis leagues.
Thanks to Sassy Mama contributor Kate Farr for this roundup!