For athletes around the world, training can be exhausting and rigorous. But for student athletes in Hong Kong, the physical challenge of playing a sport isn’t the biggest obstacle to overcome. It’s the scheduling.
Andrea Chan knows this difficulty all too well. “It’s challenging trying to make it to practices with different teams or even different sports,” she says. The 13-year-old student at South Island School plays football for both the U14 and U16 Hong Kong National teams. But that’s not all. She plays football for KCC, too, and also plays netball. “The trainings clash sometimes,” says Andrea. “So I have to make a decision on which session is most important.”
Andrea has been playing football for six years, and fell in love with the sport after her parents signed her up for a summer course. Since then she has been awarded MVP on the Hong Kong National Team and played against top teams in international competitions.
Most recently, Andrea and the rest of the Hong Kong U14 team went up against Guam, Thailand and Singapore at the Jockey Club Girls’ International Youth Invitational Football Tournament 2016, held here in Hong Kong.
It was a tough round-robin style tournament, and watching the other teams compete caused some nerves for Andrea and her team. “Thailand was our biggest threat,” she says. “To prepare for our game, we watched them play against Guam, and they were amazing.”
The Hong Kong girls beat Guam 2-0, but lost to Thailand 2-0, and Singapore 3-0.
But Andrea said that the most surprising thing about the tournament wasn’t the outcome on the field – it was the one off the field.
“Everyone was so friendly,” Andrea says. “At the end of the tournament we had a team celebration dinner, and we played games and watched performances from each team. Then we took pictures with each other and talked to each other. It was really fun meeting new people.”
What song/movie title best describes you when you’re playing your sport?
Fight Song by Rachel Platten. We are constantly fighting for the ball, and to score – and it’s also a really catchy tune!
You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
The ability to control time, because I am constantly running out of it.
If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be and why?
Knowledge, so I wouldn’t have to worry about school and getting a job etc.
10 years in the future, you are a famous athlete. What company do you sign on as spokesperson for, and what product do you promote?
Nike! Probably football gear. I mostly wear Nike when I play football, and even just for my regular trainers. They are super comfy and I love playing in them