If you’re keen to get active but could use a touch more motivation, joining a sports club is a great option. In our feature on sports clubs in Hong Kong, we chat with representatives from three clubs. Here, we chat to Lexter Ang and Ace Lee, founders of Club Smash HK, to find out more about playing badminton in Hong Kong. You’ll be smashing a shuttlecock in no time!
Club Smash HK
Name: Lexter Ang
Time in HK: 1 year and 10 months
Name: Ace Lee
Time in HK: 6 years and 11 months
How long have you played badminton? What do you enjoy about it?
Lexter: It’s been almost 18 years since I started playing badminton seriously. I started pretty late. For me, it’s always been not just a sport but more of a lifestyle. You can get a great workout just by playing badminton, but the competitive nature is what gets me excited. You need to be strong and agile while still being strategic in outplaying your opponents.
Ace: I also started late, but I’ve played for about 12 years now. I enjoy the workout that I get, and also that it’s like a physical form of chess, with lots of strategies and intellectual outwitting required to beat your opponents. You don’t always win with brute force in badminton!
What prompted you to start Club Smash HK?
Lexter: When I moved to HK, I had difficulty finding a badminton group where we could quickly gather and have competitive games, because I couldn’t speak Cantonese. I realised that other expat players had the same problem. That’s why I wanted to start a club, so competitive and like-minded players from different nationalities could gather. Our core mission has always been to build a badminton club that people can call their home court.
Ace: I’ve always enjoyed the satisfaction of gathering friends together for some competitive fun and I’ve found many good friends through badminton. Back in Singapore, I was the founding president of the Marina Bay Sands badminton club, an in-house club that served 10,000 employees.
Who is a typical club member?
Ace: People who are new in HK or have been around for some time and are looking for a friendly yet competitive community for some serious badminton fun. Having been in the same situation, we know it’s not easy, as most clubs require you to know someone inside before you can join.
Can people who haven’t played badminton join?
Ace: Not currently; we want to build on the intermediate and-above level for the club in order to gain recognition among the local community before opening up to beginners; by then we’ll also be able to provide training for them.
Where is Club Smash headquarters?
Lexter: We mostly play badminton in the Quarry Bay Sports Centre as most members find this location ideal. We organise evening games from 8pm onwards, and members join our games after work. We also play in venues such as the Sheung Wan Sports Centre, Hong Kong Park Sports Centre and elsewhere.
What are some of the club’s activities and events?
Lexter: We’re currently exploring the possibility of our own in-house club tournaments and league games. And we’re exploring the idea of inviting other local clubs for a friendly interclub competition, where we get to meet and play against other HK badminton clubs. Our goal is to continue to grow our club and help promote the sport of badminton to a broader audience.
See more on sports clubs in Hong Kong in our Living in Hong Kong section.
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2022 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.