For most of the people in Hong Kong, when they first hear the name “football”, they are most likely to picture a round shape ball which people kick around.
But here is a different kind of football, the tougher football, with “gladiators” playing in helmets and pads, what the world called “American football” or “Gridiron football”.
Alex Berriman, a 22 year-old born and raised in Hong Kong, is now the founder and chairman of the Hong Kong American Football League (HKAFL).
While he spent his university years in the United Kingdom understanding and learning about the game of football, he was determined to come back to Hong Kong to spread his beloved game to the people at home. Starting something from scratch is never easy, let alone introducing a foreign sport that most locals have completely no idea about.
Having earned a degree in Sport Management and now pursuing a Master in the same subject, Alex put what he learns into practice. In 2011, he started the HKAFL which is the first ever official American football organization here in Hong Kong with a goal to grow and develop the level of awareness and participation in American Football in the region.
This year, he put together a squad of football talents from all over Hong Kong and named the team the “Hong Kong Cobras”.
Today, they made history. The first ever American football team had their first ever football training preparing themselves for the games coming ahead. Together they train hard and hold an unwavering will to take down their first challenger, the Philippines Punishers, in the Hong Kong Bowl in Fall 2012.
The road ahead is still long and winding. But one thing for sure is that Alex and all his players will work their hardest to prove that one day, the game that they are tremendously passionate about will make an impact on the place they call home.