By Arthur Tam
Getting to know your colleagues and other members of your work community can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Just ask Asman Ali, Senior Manager at Aegon Asset Management Asia. After moving here from the UK, Ali noticed that a sense of camaraderie was lacking in Hong Kong's work culture. In response, he formed a football team within his company to promote team building and a healthy work-life balance. Now, he wants to expand on this idea by forming a league to include various companies within Taikoo Place. We follow Ali as he heads to the pitch to talk sports and what he enjoys most around Taikoo Place.
I’ve been playing football ever since high school, so 25 years now. Competitively, in corporate leagues, I’ve been playing for 15 years. I’m originally from Scotland and I root for our local team East Fife F.C, but I’m actually a huge Manchester United fan. Growing up, my favorite player was Paul Scholes. He’s an attacking midfielder, brilliant passer, created and scored many goals, but rubbish at tackling and I’d say the same about me.
We meet up once a month for company games. This year Aegon Asia’s footballers also played friendly matches against other teams such as Towngas. To take this a step forward, Aegon is looking for more teams to play against. If we have at least five teams, we can create a league and meet every couple of weeks. I’m sure Taikoo Place must have enough footballers.
We all know that Hong Kong has a distorted sense of work-life balance. So doing an activity or playing sports is a great way to relieve stress, feel good and bring things back into perspective. It is also a way to meet like-minded people with similar interests and build a new network of friends.
I encourage people of all levels to play. As long as you’re enthusiastic, want to run around and engage with others, you’re welcome. We usually play at Quarry Bay Park.
Quarry Bay is great for young families. I would take my son to Quarry Bay Park to play ball, and afterwards we'd go to Cityplaza and do all of our shopping there.
I used to live in the Taikoo Place Apartments when I was first settling into Hong Kong. The space is swish, modern and located at the centre of so many tasty restaurants. It’s super convenient.
My favourite place to eat is at Tulsi on Hoi Kwong Street tucked inside of Hoi Kwong Court. Their Indian food is so good and I particularly fancy the fish saag. I tend to read a lot of news over lunch relating to finance, politics and sports. It’s a good way to clear the mind. Or, more recently I’ve been watching House of Cards to break up the day.
Taikoo Place is a great place to have a league. After a game, there are so many bars to hang out at and grab a beer. Enoteca or Mr & Mrs Fox are just around the corner.
Want to join?
Just email Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a friendly match!