Field of Play
“Rugby is kind of a macho sport, but we have a strong sense of family here.”
Lau Sze Hong writes about running Alpha with his rugby teammates in central Hong Kong:
I became a Christian on the rugby pitch and I got baptised in the ice bath bucket on rugby pitch, so naturally I wanted to share my journey with the guys closest to me.
When I decided to share my faith, I had pretty low expectations of whether my teammates would be interested. I thought they wouldn’t want to be involved with – or even talk about – faith. But thank God they wanted to find out more!
Our club is a community rugby club. We don’t have a full-time staff at the moment but we’re aiming to be a semi-professional team. Right now, players are mostly young professionals and students who play for the love of the game.
Yes, rugby is kind of a macho sport, but we have a strong sense of family here. People relate to each other closely and the culture is one of complete honesty – on and off the pitch.
Here in Hong Kong we’ve got a project we call ‘Alpha Anywhere’ – all the materials are available on the go, so you can just set up an iPad and you’re ready to start, wherever you are, which makes it really easy to initiate conversations about faith with your friends. Running Alpha with video on the go makes it really easy to connect with those around you, and you don’t have to prepare a lot before getting together.
We all meet in a café before training – somewhere that feels pretty neutral. People in Hong Kong can feel sensitive talking about big issues around life and faith. Meeting in a café really helps people to lower their guard and feel comfortable opening up.
I worried a lot of before running Alpha with the rugby team. What if they don’t like it and leave right away? What if they don’t wanna share anything? What if they feel offended? Thankfully, they got so into the discussions that they wanted even more time to talk.
We’re still right in the middle of our course – the topics are challenging, and there’s plenty to talk about. I’ve started meeting every week or two with one guy in particular, who wanted to find out even more, so we grab a coffee and talk it all through. It’s started great conversations and we’re so excited to continue them.