In one of the most technologically advanced, progressive, and financially focused regions of Asia, the iron jungle of Hong Kong has a new sports scene emerging from the underground.
Look past the expansive harbor, endless skyline, and uniquely breathtaking contrast between industry and nature, and you will start to realize Hong Kong is chock-full of young people discovering new passions, hobbies, skills, and opportunities. Lacrosse sticks are starting to appear in a landscape of 7.2 million people.
But, right now, finding them is likely to be one of the most aggravating games of Where’s Waldo?.
Hong Kong as a Whole
For those that don’t know, Hong Kong is an autonomous territory of China. That means, aside from military and some foreign affairs, the region operates by mostly their own rules. The former British colony was turned over to China in 1997 and made a “special administrative region.”
Granted the ability to establish their own government and economic standards, Hong Kong has used its geographic location, deep harbors, and civil freedoms to attract the best and brightest in business, academics, healthcare, science, and athletics.
Students in Hong Kong face many of the same pressures as those growing up in mainland China when it comes to success in the classroom, then in the workplace. Parents and families expect the best out of their school-age kin, with a great deal of focus placing academics as the sole purpose of their young lives.
Yet, times are changing in Hong Kong. While an emphasis on excelling in school is still important to most families, the influence of the Western world is starting to reshape their values.
In Hong Kong, success is the way to buy credibility. If the ever-growing skyline isn’t a reminder that results in the boardroom are rewarded, the abundance of street advertisements stress the notion that hard work pays off. For the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association, things are no different.
From the beginning, the focus has been on-field results. If the HKLA has any hope of gaining recognition in their own backyard, they have to start by winning games around the world, plain and simple.
Planting The Flag
With so many other sports to compete in and the burden of academic and professional success on their shoulders, many folks will continue to pass lacrosse by.
That is, until the program becomes something worth dedicating their valuable time to. Luckily, the focus of the HKLA has never waned. They’ve stuck to the plan and dedicated the resources to producing some of the best men’s and women’s teams in the world.
Bringing in help from North America through expats and touring lacrosse folk, the HKLA have been working relentlessly at growing the game not only in their own backyard, but all across Asia. Recently the Women’s National Team made way to England for the 2017 Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.
Finishing 4-4, the women placed 18th overall with exciting wins over Belgium, Colombia, and twice against Switzerland. They also finished 18th in the 2013 event, featuring four less nations. The cameras were with the ladies the entire way.
Take the time to look into their path to success at the second World Cup for the nation.
Road to the World Cup
These women have come along way in the few short years they’ve been building the program. Based on the ladies’ results this summer and the men’s 21 of 38 finish in 2014, we see a bright future for the game in Hong Kong.
We’ve heard they’re beefing up the resources allocated for youth lacrosse and younger national teams. You can bet if that’s the case, the HKLA will be one of the world’s leading organizations in a few short years.