Date
21 January 2017
Hong Kong people have begun to realize that physical fitness and sporting activity can help improve their lives, says Frank Chu, the co-founder of FitCaller app. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong people have begun to realize that physical fitness and sporting activity can help improve their lives, says Frank Chu, the co-founder of FitCaller app. Photo: HKEJ

FitCaller co-founder says he aims to promote sporting culture

FitCaller, a newly-established mobile app founded by a former Hong Kong runner and financial practitioner, says it aims to become a hub for sports lovers in Hong Kong by promoting a culture of physical fitness in the city.

Launched in June, the online platform will enable users to look for training courses, events or coaching partners in a wide range of sports, Frank Chu, co-founder of FitCaller, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal. 

Users can browse and buy training courses over the platform, just like Open Rice users search for restaurants online, Chu said in an interview.

“Our subscribers can check the number of participants who have joined a particular event or class, so that they can determine whether a class has enough people they can train with,” he said.

On July 31, FitCaller launched a Pokémon GO workshop and called on hikers to hunt for Pokémon along a path to the Lion Rock.

Any initiative that makes people go out and do physical activity should be encouraged, says Chu, who was once a member of the youth squad of Hong Kong’s hurdling team. 

Citing industry data, he said that healthcare and beauty expenditure accounted for just 0.3 percent of total household expenses in Hong Kong last year, compared with an average of 2 to 3 percent in most developed countries.

In recent years, many Hong Kong people have started squeezing in more time for sports as they realized that such activities are the best way to reduce stress and maintain good shape, Chu said.

Apart from the youth, parents are also FitCaller’s target customers as the older generation is now more willing to spend on extra-curriculum courses for the children, he said.

FitCaller remains free at the moment, but it plans to start charging course suppliers 10 to 15 percent commission for every class sold.

Such charges represent a bargain for the course providers, compared with the money they would have to spend if they sell through platforms such as Groupon, according to Chu.

In future, artificial intelligence technology will be applied on FitCaller to offer advice to the course seekers.

Among other initiatives, the app will invite foreign professional runners to interact with the users.

FitCaller can serve as a platform for former professional athletes to build up their coaching careers, Chu added.

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CK/JP/RC

HKEJ reporter

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