Since its invention, underwater hockey has gained fans in South Africa, Canada and Australia. (Photo : Getty Images)
Underwater hockey has long amassed a large following around the world, and just recently, Hong Kong has joined the fray, GMA News reported.
Invented in the 1950s by British divers, underwater hockey is a team sport that requires players to score goals using a short curved stick and a plastic puck all while submerged in water.
Since its invention, underwater hockey has gained fans in South Africa, Canada, and Australia. China and Malaysia also caught up with the sport as underwater hockey became more popular in Asia.
Hong Kong has also embraced the sport, and now has its own underwater hockey team comprised mostly of amateurs.
The team, nicknamed HK Typhoon, has about 25 active players and includes people from all walks of life, including the club founder, Henry Chan. Known nowadays as a geologist, 28-year-old Chan was a competitive swimmer in his youth and played underwater hockey during his studies in the United States.
He started HK Typhoon by setting up a Facebook group in order to connect with fellow fans in Hong Kong back in 2010. The rest, they say, is history.
“I started receiving messages from veterans from all over the world who had transferred to Hong Kong to work. They have a lot of experience in playing, teaching, and even competing at the highest level,” Chan said in an interview with AFP.
The Facebook group almost has 200 members. The competitive team, HK Typhoon, also competed in their first tournament in May 2016, where they placed third out of 11 participating Chinese cities.
When it comes to long-term goals, HK Typhoon plans to join the circuit and become a participant in the underwater hockey world cup. For now, however, the China Cup in May will have to do.
“We are aiming for the first prize and I’m very confident about it,” Chan said.