For his love of the great game

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2011, 12:00am


Each year, a number of junior athletes leave town to study overseas. By the time they graduate and return to Hong Kong, several no longer play their sports.

Not so footballer Gaspar Chow Cheuk-hong, a Form Six student at Lam Tai Fai College. He went to Musselburgh in Scotland with his family after completing Primary Six in Hong Kong.

He was there for four years.

'I completed my Year Seven to 10 studies at Loretto School in Musselburgh,' Gaspar say.

'But after my dad retired from the civil service, I chose to come back.'

He began playing football as a child in Hong Kong, and he wanted to play the sport in Britain, too.

'Rugby and hockey were the official compulsory sports at my school. I played for the two school teams and didn't have much time left for football,' he says.

After he returned to Hong Kong to continue his studies at Lam Tai Fai College four years ago, he started to take his football career seriously again.

'I need to thank my school's supervisor for giving me a chance to play for Sha Tin, a Second Division team in 2008-09. I had a very tough start in training as I was not up to the standard yet,' the midfielder admits.

Gaspar took his HKCEEs in 2009, then chose to repeat Form Five in order to better prepare for his HKDSE exam.

He spent two more seasons with Sha Tin before joining the Second Division team Tai Chung Football Club this season.

'After years of training in Sha Tin, I know I am a much better player now,' Gaspar says.

He even represented Hong Kong at the All China Secondary Schools Students' Games in Baotou , Inner Mongolia, in July.

These days Gaspar is on a very tight schedule. On some weekends, he has two matches a day.

'This past Sunday, I played in a school match against Lui Ming Choi in the morning and for Tai Chung in the evening. It was pretty tiring,' Gaspar says.

But he did very well. He scored two goals for his school and one goal for his club that day. The Form Six student is clearly on fire.

Lam Tai Fai College will play their last match in the inter-school competition against Tung Chi Ying on November 19. As the deputy captain of the school's team, Gaspar is excited that they may make history this month.

'We can qualify for the Jing Ying Tournament if we come first or second in the competition,' he says.

'Even if we draw against Tung Chi Ying, we can still progress, depending on the result between Ti-I and Lui Ming Choi in the other group game.'

If his team does progress, this will be their first-ever appearance in the Jing Ying Tournament.

Yet regardless of the qualifiers' outcome, the 18-year-old says he has already achieved more than he had hoped for only a few years ago.

'I was a bit upset when I came back to Hong Kong from the UK,' he says. 'I wasn't sure I would be able to play at a higher level. I don't know what would have happened if I had stayed in the UK.'

He adds: 'I can only say I enjoy what I have and the games I am playing right now.'