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Triathlon Champion Volunteers to Coach

Triathlon Champion Volunteers to Coach

Brown Bailee Briana's Story
Awardee of 24th Recognition Ceremony – Above and Beyond Award
Faculty of Social Sciences

The student-athlete Bailee Brown is an experienced participant in many large-scale contests including the Triathlon Asian and World Cup. However, her athletic journey is not only about winning matches but also about inspiring other swimmers. 

Photo of Bailee winning a tritholon medal with teammate

Bailee started volunteering as a swimming coach with a non-profit foundation called “Splash” in 2020. Her students are mostly domestic helpers in Hong Kong. When asked why she is willing to sacrifice her Sunday mornings for her students, she pointed out that the volunteering experience helps alleviate her stress.  

“ As a student-athlete studying in HKU, I get anxious easily. Coaching in Splash has brought me a lot of peace and happiness,” said Bailee. She enjoys the amazing moments when she witnesses the improvements of her students. She is proud of herself for helping her students to turn their fear into a passion. She recalled, “Initially, many of them were afraid of water, but I ended up persuading them to jump into the ocean.” 

In the time of COVID, swimming pools were all closed. The beach was the only swimming venue available. Teaching beginners to swim in the waves and tides was by no means easy. Even so, Bailee still managed to teach her students to survive in the wild sea. Perhaps for Bailee, promoting her specialisation and passing it on to others share equal importance with athletic achievements in sportsmanship. 

Photo of Bailee doing volunteering work
“The coaching experience has been serving as a therapy for her to hold on to her aspiration.” 

Hard hit by COVID-19, Bailee’s sports career has been adversely impacted since last year. “It’s difficult to stay motivated during the lockdown. Apart from physical fitness, I also need to be mentally fit for future competitions,” said Bailee. The coaching experience has been serving as a therapy for her to hold on to her aspiration. It keeps reminding her of the hard work and commitment throughout the years. Within the Splash community, Bailee and other coaches attend regular meet-ups and gain mutual support under the pandemic. The companionship in Splash helps her to get over the frustration, making her stay hopeful in the face of uncertainties. 

In April 2021, Bailee is flying to Japan for another Asian Championship contest. Looking back, she is glad that the pandemic failed to discourage her from quitting triathlon. As she described, an athlete should possess the qualities of “hard work, resilience and trust”. These qualities also help her to persevere till the end. 

More about Bailee:

Written by:
Tracy Wong
Year 1, Faculty of Arts

Video recorded and produced by:
Wu Yee 
Year 3, Faculty of Architecture 

March 2021

Triathlon Champion Volunteers to Coach