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Hong Kong Hockey

Brief History of Hockey in Hong Kong
(by Sarinder Dillon – updated February 2015)

The Hong Kong Hockey Association (HKHA) was founded in 1933. The inaugural meeting was held on 22nd June 1933 when it was reported that hockey had already made tremendous strides over the past few years but needed a central body to look after the interests of the game and to seek affiliation with the English Hockey Association, which was duly achieved by 1935. The first AGM was held on 31st July 1934 when they looked back on their first year with the President, E. W. Hamilton stating they felt fully justified in having set up the Association. At that time there were 150 teams, both men and women, with some 2,500 players. As there were only 16 grounds (mainly military grounds) it was agreed to write to Government to ask for more. So hockey was already flourishing in Hong Kong since the 1930s. Club de Recreio is the only surviving club from those days.

The HKHA was accepted by the Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as a provisional affiliate at its meeting on 31 October 1950 in Barcelona. The HKHA gained definitive affiliation at the FIH Congress held in Helsinki on 17 July 1952. The HKHA became affiliated to the then Amateur Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong (now Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China) in 1951.

The HKHA is a founder member of the Asian Hockey Federation which was constituted during the Asian Games in Jakarta in August 1962.

The HKHA became an incorporated body under the Companies Ordinance on 10 January 2014. Before incorporation, the Association was registered under the Societies Ordinance.

The men's league comprised two divisions in 1950, three in 1961, four in 1981 and five in 1985. A Premier Division was introduced in the Men's league in 2003-2004. The Men’s fifth division was split to form a new sixth division from the 2010-2011 hockey season. A Premier Division was introduced in the Women’s league in 2009-2010.

In the current 2014-2015 season, there are 81 men's teams in seven divisions and 49 women's teams in six divisions, a total of 130 teams.

In the 1950s, the game was dominated by the Armed Forces, notably Army A. The power shifted to Recreio A in the 1960s, and to Nav Bharat A in the 1970s. Shaheen A became the dominant force from 1983-84 to 2008-09, a span of 25 years; a remarkable record. As at November 2012, Shaheen Sports Club held 18 First Division/Premier Division league titles and 12 Holland Cup titles, including 7 “doubles”. Nav Bharat Club followed with 9 First Division league titles and 14 Holland Cup titles, including 8 “doubles”.

Hong Kong's first exposure to hockey at the highest level was in 1958 when it hosted the visit of the India and Pakistan National Teams who were on their way home after the Asian Games in Tokyo. Capacity crowds witnessed the brilliant skills of the Indian and Pakistani players in matches played at the former So Kon Po Army Ground. Pakistan defeated Hong Kong 7-0. The second day saw Hong Kong being overwhelmed by India by a massive 22-0. India repeated the feat the next day blanking Nav Bharat Club 21-1. The local hero in the game against Pakistan undoubtedly was Slawee Kadir, the Hong Kong goalkeeper. Slawee's brilliant display between the posts kept the Pakistani goal scoring machine at bay.

Four years later, in 1962, the Hong Kong team participated in its first ever international tournament, the Asian Games in Jakarta. Hong Kong lost to India by a very respectable 0-4 and Malaysia (0-4), but caused a major upset by defeating Korea, the 1958 Asian Games Bronze medallists, by 2 goals to nil. The win improved Hong Kong’s world rankings in the FIH. 1964 saw Hong Kong participating in its first and only Olympics Games. Hong Kong, who were placed 2nd reserves, found themselves in Tokyo after France (replaced by Rhodesia) and Poland pulled out. Hong Kong’s best show at the Tokyo Olympics was a 1-1 draw against the mighty East Germany. Hong Kong led by a short corner goal scored by full-back Farid Khan in the first half. A famous victory was on the cards until East Germany equalized with two minutes of the match remaining. 

The first International Tournament ever held in Hong Kong was the East Asia Regional Tournament in 1969. The Opening Ceremony on 20 September 1969 was officiated by the Governor of Hong Kong Sir David Trench. Matches were played on the grass pitches of the King’s Park Hockey Ground and Club de Recreio. As there was no floodlighting at the time, matches were played in the early afternoons.

Over the years, Hong Kong have taken part in, and also hosted, a number of international tournaments:

In summary, Hong Kong participated in the following major events:


Olympic Games          1964 Tokyo

Asian Games              1962 Jakarta
                                    1966 Bangkok
                                    1970 Bangkok
                                    1978 Bangkok
                                    1982 New Delhi
                                    1986 Seoul
                                    1990 Beijing
                                    1998 Bangkok

                                    2002 Busan
                                    2006 Doha
                                    2010 Guangzhou

East Asian Games      2001 Osaka
                                    2005 Macau
                                    2009 Hong Kong
                                    2013 Tianjin

Asian Indoor Games   2007 Macau

Asia Cup                     1999 Kuala Lumpur
                                    2003 Kuala Lumpur
                                    2007 Chennai


Asian Games              1982 New Delhi
                                    1986 Seoul
                                    2006 Doha
                                    2014 Incheon

East Asian Games      2005 Macau
                                    2009 Hong Kong
                                    2013 Tianjin

Asia Cup                     1985 Seoul
                                    1989 Hong Kong
                                    2007 Hong Kong
                                    2009 Bangkok
                                    2013 Kuala Lumpur

Note: The above has been compiled based on records available to the HKHA. If anyone has information/records of hockey in Hong Kong, in particular before 1953, he or she is most welcomed to contact the Hong Kong Hockey Association via