Polly McGovern catches up with Tim Stevens, owner of Basecamp
At the age of 21, I had an opportunity to join a small firm in Hong Kong as a money broker. I had been living at home with my parents in Kent, England, so this was my first step away from the nest. It was exciting, a real eye opener, and I enjoyed all the privileges of an expat life in the 90s.
Just before the hand over, there were some changes going on in the market and I lost my job. As one chapter closed, another one opened. I was already very interested in sport and had some money so I took a personal training course and started my career in the fitness industry.
I met my wife Anne at a party in 2000. We moved to Sai Kung and bought a house together. It was the stepping-stone to building our foundations for the future and starting a family.
I realised there was a gap in the market in Sai Kung so I started Fitcamp, a challenging outdoor training programme. It’s still going today and is affordable fitness for everybody. There’s a social network that has grown around it, a lot of friendships have been made there.
Fitcamp has been the cornerstone of everything I’ve done. Nowadays, I centralise everything out of Basecamp, a personal training studio in the heart of Sai Kung. I often get asked why there aren’t any other gyms in the area and the reason is that a lot of people who live here are already fitness enthusiasts, they are selfmotivated and most prefer to train outdoors.
Basecamp also runs a weekly evening ‘Run Club’ for adults but exercise for kids is definitely the future. I started ‘Junior Run Club’ with another local personal trainer Warren Warner. It’s a non-competitive athletics training group. An opportunity to get fit, improve technique and confidence through a comprehensive structured training programme. I am really proud of it and I get a real buzz going down to the stadium and seeing the kids train.
Another initiative, ‘Splash’, is into its third year now and is a massive success. Held at the Victoria Recreation Club, it gets kids into the water in a safe yet competitive environment without making it elite. Last year we had over 100 participants.
Sai Kung is a real hub of energy and community sport – just look at the Stingrays rugby club – I started off as a dad on the sidelines and am now the supporting head coach of the Under 8s. Taking my sons to rugby on a Sunday morning is not a hardship, I love it!
I was fortunate that my parents were very sporty and I want to give back to my kids the opportunities that I had as a child. I’m definitely not a tiger dad, if they don’t want to do it then I don’t make them, but I am passionate about sport and I want them to appreciate the same things.
Some kids naturally don’t like sport but they all enjoy participating in games and being active. If you can make sport fun then they are going to get something out of it. You just need the desire and to find the time.
For more details about Basecamp, visit www.skbasecamp.com