Late in the evening, after a busy day at work, you hit the gym. You find your same old treadmill and begin the routine; your Ipod is set to the same play list, drowning out the monotonous pounding of your trainers as you increase the pace on the never-ending black trail. Half an hour later no further from where you started, you throw back your bottle of water, stumble off the machine, wipe the sweat off your face and head home. “There’s got to be a better way to exercise” you think.
Well there is! Shanghai is full of expat sports clubs and leagues that will satisfy your need for exercise, and just as importantly your need to socialise. Sports clubs and leagues offer an enjoyable exercise-fix away from the fluorescent glare of the gym. You’ll get to meet new people, make new friends and enjoy the (sometimes) fresh air. Read on to find out more about the specific clubs, their training times and their match schedules.
Remember that as with any form of entertainment, most clubs will require a membership fee for participation. Prices and payments schedules differ, so look at the websites directly, and contact the clubs to find out more.
Aussie Rules Football: The Shanghai Tigers
Australian Rules Football or Aussie Rules evolved from the concept, tactics and strategies of football, rugby and Gaelic football and is a fast and action packed game.
The Shanghai Tigers invite players of all ages and abilities to join them. They train once a week on Saturdays from 12pm- 2pm at Shanghai Rugby Football Club. They have interclub matches as well as participating in the Asian Champs, a region- wide competition.
Cricket: Bashers Cricket Club
The quintessential gentleman’s sport. Bashers teams are graded into three divisions; high standard, social standard and beginners. The club spirit is as much about the friendships, the beer, the tea and scones, as it is about the cricket.
Weekly trainings are held on Thursday nights from 6 - 8pm at the tennis court in San He Gardens on Yanping Lu, and are followed by social drinks at Big Bamboo. Matches are held on Saturdays in Pudong.
Gaelic Football: Shanghai Saints and Sirens
Ireland’s national game, Gaelic Football combines the skills and strategies of football and rugby. The object of the game is score more goals than the opposition by kicking or ‘striking’ the ball through your goal. It has been being played in Shanghai since 2002 and has grown with astonishing popularity.
The Saints and Sirens are currently counting down to the Asian Gaelic games in Bangkok in October.
Training sessions are held twice weekly; Tuesday evenings from 8pm- 10pm at Luwan Stadium, and Saturday from 1pm till 3pm at Shanghai Rugby Football Club.
Hockey: Shanghai Hockey Club
The Shanghai Hockey club has been playing competitively since 2003. The club plays in a Shanghai based league as well as in regional hockey tournaments.
The Club meet weekly on Saturday afternoon at the National Field Hockey Stadium, Minhang District. The club is sponsored by O’ Malley’s so post- match reflections are taken back to the source!
Rugby: The Hairy Crabs
Rugby has been played in Shanghai since the 1900’s. Today the Hairy Crabs are part of a formalised Asian league, with teams from China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Players of all ages and abilities are invited to join them in their passion for rugby. They train twice weekly on Mondays and Thursday, from 8pm till 10pm at Huo Che Tou Stadium and play matches on Saturday’s through out the year at SRFC.
Running: Hash House Harriers
Founded in 1986, the Hash House Harriers promote themselves as “A Drinking Club with a Running Problem”. This club meets weekly on Sunday afternoons and complete 8 to 12 km runs. Once they’ve crossed the finish line they replenish their fluids with copious amounts of beer.
Touch Football: Shanghai Touch and the Sassy Shrimps
Touch Football is a non-contact sport developed from the game of rugby. The game substitutes tackles for ‘touches’ and a team wins by scoring the most amount of trys. Touch is a friendly game and is open to men and women of all ages and abilities.
Shanghai Touch is played on Tuesday Nights and Saturday afternoons.
The Shanghai International Touch Tournament is scheduled for October 31st. You can register now and be part of a team for the upcoming tournament. The invitation is open to teams and individuals in five divisions in men’s, mixed, master (35 yrs +), women’s or juniors.
Triathlon: Shanghai Tri Club
If you are looking for a more serious take on your fitness regime, try the “Shanghai Tri Club”.
The best thing about this club is it is completely free. The Shanghai Tri Club also assists it members with training, nutrition and equipment needs.
There are multiple trainings per week so have a look at the website and see what training schedule works best for you.
Other Sports Leagues: ASAS
Active Sports Active Social run a variety of sports leagues within Shanghai, including basketball, dodgeball, flag football, seven a side soccer and volleyball. They promote their leagues as an opportunity to ‘play the field’! There are competitive and social leagues so, whatever your intensions are, ASAS can provide the right ‘field’ for it!
You can enter into the ASAS leagues as an individual or as a team. There are even corporate leagues so if you are working on ‘team building’ at the office consider joining them.
Below is a list of sports leagues that ASAS run, check out the website and the corresponding link, on costing, match times and locations.
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