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Smells like Team Spirit: The benefits of playing team sports

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Think of exercise and, more often than not, the first thing that comes to mind is a row of treadmills with toned fitness buffs sweating it out in the gym.

But keeping fit doesn’t need to be a solitary pursuit, and in fact, evidence shows that exercising in a group can actually offer more benefits than going solo.

“Playing in a team helps to develop strength and character,” says Nick Wade, chief of operations for the DB Pirates. “You learn to compete with the best, while acknowledging the weaker links and lifting them up. Players develop patience, compassion and self-esteem, and learn how to accept failure together.

“Team sports aren’t just about winning the game, they are about being leaders, team players and better human beings. Our club motto is ‘Give what you can. Leave no one behind.’”

Jon Hart, chairperson of the South Lantau Buffaloes agrees, adding that taking part in team sports is particularly good for young children. “Playing sports such as rugby gives children the opportunity to make new friends in a fun, energetic environment,” he explains. “Kids of all ages and abilities can get involved – no matter what your background, everyone can give it a go.”

Lesley Pears, office manager for the Hong Kong Dragons, continues. “Sports like football teach children many fundamental values that will assist them throughout their lives. It’s a fantastic way for them to stay fit and healthy, build self-confidence and learn about respect, while at the same time getting lots of fresh air and sunshine, and developing new skills alongside their friends.”

But it’s not just kids who can benefit from team sports, and there are plenty of opportunities across Lantau for adults to get involved too. From rugby and football to netball, hockey and dragon boating, whatever you’re interested in, there’s a club to match.

And in a city where personal connections can be so transient, the social aspect of group training is particularly relevant.

“Team sports offer a great avenue to meet new people,” says Pamela Wallace, co-captain of Discovery Bay International Community Church’s dragon boat team, Ripple Effect, and member of the DB-based Sea Cucumbers. “The camaraderie in our multicultural teams is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced; we truly become like family!”

Pamela adds that the team bonding continues after training too. “We do a lot together – barbecues, family get-togethers, birthday celebrations, spontaneous plaza meet-ups… there’s always something happening.”

So what are you waiting for? You’ll find a wide variety of team-sport providers in our website – the question is simply which one will you choose?

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