Hong Kong has a vibrant sports scene, and getting involved in a club is a good way to keep fit and make friends. Many of the clubs offer great facilities, too. To help you make the most of the sporting opportunities around the island, we’ve compiled an A to Z guide for you.
(Keep in mind any ongoing pandemic restrictions when taking on a sporty pursuit in Hong Kong, and be sure to check websites for changes and updates.)
Both American Football and Australian Rules Football are popular among their respective expat communities. Pick-up tournaments for American football are held mid-year for the season starting in September (hkafl.com); and Aussie Rules teams play monthly tournaments with a focus on introducing newcomers to the game (afl-asia.com).
You only need to see the courts at Victoria Park to know that basketball is super popular in Hong Kong. There’s a youth academy (hkbaallday.com) and the Hong Kong Basketball Association (www.basketball.org.hk/).
Cricket has been played in Hong Kong since 1841 – not surprising with our colonial roots and Australian, South African and South Asian communities. It continues to be a much-loved game, with over 60 clubs operating. Keep up to date via Cricket Hong Kong (hkcricket.org).
Popular with locals and expats alike, Dragon Boat Racing is a fun sport that keeps you fit and lets you meet new friends. The Dragon Boat Festival in June sees international and local teams battle it out in fierce competition. Find out more from the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association.
Competitive video gaming, or eSports, is becoming big business, including in HK (instagram.com/hkesports). In 2019, the eSports & Music Festival Hong Kong attracted 80,000 visitors, and three eSports tournaments were held with major cash prizes.
The world’s favourite game is also Hong Kong’s most popular sport – football is played all around the territory (hkfa.com). Sign up for the Casual Football Network (casualfootball.net), which arranges weekly games at seven locations.
There are around half a dozen golf clubs in Hong Kong, including a public course, Kau Sai Chau, a short ferry ride from Sai Kung pier. There are numerous public driving ranges, too. The HK Golf Association (hkga.com) offers extensive opportunities for juniors.
Hockey has been played in Hong Kong since the 1930s. More than 100 teams play at various levels, and the season runs from October through to May. Find out more through the Hong Kong Hockey Association (hockey.org.hk).
Just like field hockey, ice hockey is also popular here – in fact, the national team is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation and competes in world championships. Plenty of Canadian and American expats play the sport (icehockeyhongkong.org).
If you love jogging, hiking, trail-running or just a family walk in nature, Hong Kong is home to more than 300km of marked trails (hiking.gov.hk). This is an ever-popular pastime, leading all the way up to the ultra-competitive Oxfam Trailwalker annual competition.
Want to learn kiteboarding? The Kiteboarding Association of Hong Kong (kiteboarding.org.hk) provides training for people of all abilities, and it holds regular tournaments.
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about lacrosse, the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association (hklax.org) runs regular development programmes for all ages and genders.
While its development in HK has been rocky (pardon the pun), mountain biking looks set to stay – and expand. Find where the best trails are by following the Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association (fb.com/MTBHK/).
Get a daughter who loves netball, or want to have a go yourself? The Hong Kong Netball League (netball.org.hk) season runs from October to April and offers a range of leagues for kids and adults alike.
A South China Morning Post article from a few years ago stated that over 2,000 people were involved in open-water swimming in HK; that number is likely to grow. Take a look at the Open Water Swimmers of Hong Kong for starters (owshk.weebly.com).
Polo, the sport of kings, has been growing in popularity in Hong Kong over the past decade. Informal get-togethers gained enough momentum to see the Hong Kong Polo Team officially created in 2014 (hongkongpoloclub.org).
We were worried about filling the whole alphabet in this A-Z article, but, happily for us, Quidditch is played in Hong Kong! Find out more about the Harry Potter-inspired sport through the Hong Kong Quidditch Association (hkquidditch.org).
Hong Kong is mad about rugby! The vibrant rugby community welcomes players of all ages and abilities, and, with more than 45 men’s teams, 15 women’s teams and a host of kids’ clubs, there’s a team to suit everyone (hkrugby.com). And the annual Rugby Sevens, of course!
The LCSD (lcsd.gov.hk) operates over 40 public swimming pools, with a range of outdoor and indoor, teaching and kids’ pools. The official swimming season is April to the end of October.
Want a hit of tennis? The Hong Kong Tennis Association (tennishk.org) runs seven leagues catering for all ages, while the HK Ladies Tennis League (hkladiestennis.com) offers six divisions of competitive matches. Kids’ tennis camps and courses are plentiful too.
Fans of flinging a frisbee will flock to Ultimate, the flyingdisc sport played by millions around the world – and here, too. Contact the Hong Kong Ultimate Players Association (hkupa.com) to get started.
Volleyball enthusiasts can sign up for the Hong Kong Volleyball League (hkvb.org), an amateur league that welcomes all players. Details of games are posted online and interested players can register there, too.
With over 700km of coastline and 250 islands, it’s unsurprising that Hong Kong offers a host of water sports to suit all. Sailing, sea kayaking, diving, kitesurfing, surfing, windsurfing: the list is endless.
It’s a case of X marks the spot when it comes to Geocaching (geocaching.com), a fun way to enjoy nature in Hong Kong or abroad. This global treasure hunt involves using your smart phone and navigational techniques to find hidden objects in the great outdoors.
There’s plenty of water to get out and about on in Hong Kong, which makes yachting a hugely popular pastime. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (rhkyc.org.hk) has been around for well over 100 years and is among the territory’s oldest and largest sporting clubs.
Zzzz … If you’d rather sleep in and leave all the training, match-play and club socialising to others, that’s fine. Instead, why not visit our website (expatliving.hk) for some great home workouts to keep in shape without opening your door?
New for 2020/21
Good news for cyclists! Not only did the final leg of the 60km New Territories Cycle Track Network open late in 2020, but an additional 22km is touted to be added some time in 2021. The full route will take in areas such as Yuen Long, Sheung Shui, Fan Ling, Tai Po and Sha Tin, and offer seaside vistas and rides through nature areas.
This article first appeared in the City Guide 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.