At Splash, we work hard to build a community where people accomplish great things. But don’t listen to us, hear it directly from the Splashers themselves.
Sopiyah, Central of Java, lives and works in North Point
When I was young, there was a river at the bottom of our backyard. When I would go in, my father would shout at me and it made me afraid of the water. Growing up, most of the boys knew how to swim, but not the girls.
I was worried and scared at my first lesson, but then, it was really fun. I met friends from all different places. Many Indonesian domestic workers here don’t know about Splash – I tell them about it and how they should join. It’s about freedom. Next time I go back home to Indonesia, maybe I will teach my niece and nephew how to swim in that same river.
Ian, La Union, Philippines, lives and works in Peng Chau.
I grew up near the coast, but was not in the water much. I travel every week two hours there and back from Peng Chau to Tai Tam to take my Splash swimming lesson. After my lesson, I go for more practice: 3-5pm at the Morrison Hill pool in Wan Chai and then 7-9 pm in Tung Chung. I want to move onto the next stage, so I have to do extra training and be very dedicated. I want to be a coach some day and give back the opportunity I have been given to others; to repay the goodness.
As I work Monday to Saturday, swimming helps me relax. It helps me stay calm, focused and determined. At first in Hong Kong, I was very lonely, but Splash has helped me a lot. We are more than just domestic helpers, working in the house.
Vicky, Manila, lives and works in Stanley.
My employer encouraged me and enrolled me in Splash. At first I thought, how can I join when I have a scarf? But I felt comfortable to take it off and wear a swimming hat. My first time was so scary for me. I was frightened I would drown. I got a ‘wasabi nose’ and I drank a lot of water, but it didn’t put me off. I was too interested to stop. Our family in Hong Kong loves to go on swimming outings, but I always felt out of place, staying poolside. So it was important for me to learn.
The coaches are always on your side. They pay attention and have presence of mind. They teach you not only how to swim, but how to be safe. “If I can do it, you can too”, I tell people. I am not scared at all now. I love floating on my back, seeing the sky. You are in peace.
Mini, East Java, Indonesia, lives and works in Yuen Long, New Territories
It took about two hours transport from where I live but I continued swimming because I really enjoyed from the very first class. I was always excited for Sunday. Some of the swimmers didn't realise I was from Indonesia and they spoke Tagalog to me - but that made it even more fun. Since I joined Splash I feel I have a new family, the coaches and all the swimmers are very friendly even with language limitations. I am very proud to be a Splasher!
Brenda, Pangansinan, Philippines, lives and works in Repulse Bay.
During childhood, we never had the opportunity to swim. I started at Splash in 2016, and now you can’t stop me: Beginner, Intermediate, Open Water, all in one year. I never thought I would be able to do that. I used to look down at the sea in Repulse Bay and say “there’s no way I am going to go in there.” Now I swim and snorkel. When I went back home to the Philippines for a visit I taught my niece and nephew to swim.
Splash has become my family. Before, I didn’t go out on Sundays. It can be very lonely for you. But swimming has become my second life. I swim after work. I swim with my employer’s children, and now I coach for Splash! It is reassuring for the swimmers to see me. When they start, they can feel very little of themselves. But I tell them “I won’t leave your side; I will stay with you.” I make them feel comfortable and help them improve their self-esteem and confidence.