Exercise and Health Ambassadors
‘Exercise’ and ‘health’ may be the two most frequently associated words for each other. Given the two, even a kindergarten pupil will give you a sentence like ‘Exercise is good for health’.
With increasing health consciousness among the general population, exercise and health education is one of the fastest growing professional areas in global and local contexts. The demand for graduates of this discipline to assist different populations to make important lifestyle and behavioural changes has been growing at an unprecedented rate.
The Bachelor of Science Programme in Exercise Science and Health Education (ESHE) offered by CUHK’s Faculty of Education is an articulating programme for applicants who have successfully completed a local course of study leading to the qualification of associate degree / higher diploma in a sports-related discipline.
The programme is characterized by two closely linked components. The Exercise Science component explores the complex nature of human movement and examines the manner by which the body reacts to acute and chronic physical activity pursuits, such as general fitness regimes, lifestyle physical activities, and elite sport. The Health Education component examines the efficacy of a variety of prescribed physical activities, as well as theories and strategies for health promotion.
Prof. Stephen H.S. Wong, Chairman of the Department of Sports Science and Physical Education explained, ‘The courses are designed to assist individuals and communities in achieving a better understanding of health issues, and thereby preventing and changing unhealthy lifestyle and behaviours linked to chronic disease, disability and poor quality of life.’
Li Kong-wai Kriztal is a karate athlete who aspires to be a professional coach. She understands that to achieve her goal, she needs to acquire sound knowledge in sports science, ranging from biomechanics, fundamental movements, psychomotor learning to human anatomy. ‘Knowledge in psychology, sports injury and management will be a bonus as that will help me to coach my team more efficiently with care and understanding.’
After completing ESHE, Kriztal knows the programme is the best choice for her. ‘It has all those elements to prepare me to be a professional coach. All the professors I have met are knowledgeable and experienced both as athletes and as instructors.’
Kriztal is thankful for the professors who are mindful of students’ individual aptitudes. ‘They review our progress regularly and are prompt to clarify any doubt we have so that we can move on steadily to the next stage. By asking us to develop coaching strategies for the sports they are good at, we are encouraged to reflect more deeply on the skills and knowledge we possess.’ She also likes the fun-filled assignment of writing an event planning proposal after a site visit. “We have to analyse the physical setting, examine the scenario, predict the problems and apply what we have learnt in theory to plan for the smooth running of a ‘real life’ event.”
The two-year programme exposes student to a diversity of learning experiences: internship, term-time and summer international exchange programmes and a supervised capstone research project.
By helping in an international symposium or a ceremony, students gain hands-on experience of event organization, operation and administration. They learn to communicate with organizers, professionals and academic experts from various fields, both local and overseas. Students also gain various working experiences through interning at sport institutes, camp sites or sports associations.
With such comprehensive training, ESHE graduates will be highly sought after as administrators in sports associations, executives in fitness and leisure industries, supervisors / officers in private and commercial sectors, inspectors or officers in disciplinary forces, physical training officers and, as Kriztal so wishes, sports coaches.
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2018