As the recreation manager of The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), it is the job of Billy Tang (below) to provide members with a quality recreation and leisure experience.
"At HKJC, we deliver customer services through well-trained and well-groomed staff. We employ degree or higher diploma holders who studied recreation management-related disciplines," he says.
Newcomers start off as recreation co-ordinators doing front-line duties such as answering customer enquiries and helping clients check in at recreation facilities. "Good communication skills are important. Having a coaching licence in different sporting activities is a plus," says Tang.
After two to three years of experience, a co-ordinator can move up to being a recreation officer, which is a supervisory role. "Officers have to implement different programmes, such as dance, gym and swimming classes. They have to co-ordinate with coaches and front line staff to ensure smooth running of the programme," says Tang.
Working hours for co-ordinators and officers follow the opening hours of the gym, usually from 7am to 10pm or 11pm. They work in two nine-hour shifts - the early shift is from 6am to 3pm, while the late shift is from 1pm to 10pm.
Outstanding performers with more than five years' experience can ascend to the recreation manager role, overlooking the operations of the recreation facilities within the club.
"My job is to motivate staff and to achieve the budget and manage resources effectively," says Tang.
Managers no longer need to perform shift duty, working five days a week from 9am to 6pm. But their days off do not necessarily fall on Sundays and public holidays.
Tang sees a bright future for the industry because the provision of club houses within housing estates is becoming increasingly popular in Hong Kong and the mainland.
"Nowadays, every housing estate has a club house for recreational activities, so demand for talent is sure to increase," he says.