Keep Fit and Trim in Shenzhen’s Expat Sports Clubs

Keep Fit and Trim in Shenzhen’s Expat Sports Clubs
By Pete Cowell ,

So you’ve just arrived in Shenzhen. You’ve moved into your apartment, taken a quick look at your future workplace and, more importantly, located your local pub. Well done. However, you feel there’s still something missing: hobbies and friends to share them with. The answer may lie in Shenzhen’s growing number of expat sports teams and clubs. This can be an ideal way for newcomers to Shenzhen to find their feet, keep fit and meet a host of new people, instantly making friends and avoiding months of tedious networking in hotel lobbies.

Even if you have been living in Shenzhen for a while, there’s no reason you can’t go down and join one of the clubs listed below, as there are options for both men and women. We all know that variety is key, and if you can earn your trip to the pub by jogging eight kilometers on a Saturday, so much the better. In Shenzhen, expat sports teams and clubs run throughout the week, making it easier for folk to fit activities around hectic work and social schedules. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best the city has to offer. 


1) Rugby Union: Shenzhen Dragons
Formed in 2008, the Shenzhen Dragons have been battling away in the Pearl River Delta and beyond ever since. Full contact matches are a regular occurrence, especially the spirited encounters with local rivals, the Guangzhou Rams. The club also travels to tournaments in other parts of China, recently Xiamen, and last year the Dragons hosted their own 10’s tournament. This friendly yet competitive bunch welcomes anyone, regardless of age or ability, although the post-match fine sessions are not for the faint hearted!

Futian Stadium View In Map
Add: Inside Tiyu Park, 30 Fuqiang Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳福田区福强路30号福田体育公园内
Tel: 139 2370 2165 (Eric)
Time: Thursday, 20:30-22:30
Price: 50 RMB

2) Touch Rugby: Shekou Pythons
For those of you who like to play their rugby at an intense pace but without the risk of physical injury, touch rugby is the ideal choice. In this format, players do not get tackled but rather have to release the ball when they are “touched” by a member of the opposing team. The Shekou Pythons encourage both men and women to come down and throw the ball around in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

China Merchants Playing PitchesView In Map
Add: Opposite Jingshan Villas, Nanhai Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳市南山区南海路鲸山别墅对面
Tel: 138 2316 5462 (Julien)
Time: Wednesday, 20:00-21:30
Price: 20 RMB


3) Gaelic Football: Shenzhen Celts
Incorporating the skills of soccer and the running speed of rugby, this ancient Irish version of the game is played all over the world by expatriate communities. Training once a week, the Shenzhen Celts keep the spirit of this exciting team sport alive by emphasising the well-organised social aspects of the club. It is a sport  both men and women can enjoy as it is, like soccer,  a semi-contact sport. Watch out for lively games against the Shanghai rivals! 

Futian StadiumView In Map
Add: Inside Tiyu Park, 30 Fuqiang Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳福田区福强路30号福田体育公园内
Tel: 139 2458 1413 (Conor)
Time: Monday, 20:30-22:30
Price: 50 RMB

4) Ice Hockey: Shenzhen Crashers
Believe it or not, there is actually an ice hockey club in our sub-tropical city. Set up in 2007 by a dedicated group of enthusiasts, the Shenzhen Crashers offer a good level of weekly training as well as semi-contact games against rival teams from Macau, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou once a month. The club is composed of a vibrant hodgepodge of expats and locals, including a Chinese ex-Olympian and the owner of the shopping mall! Always seeking to recruit new members and promote the sport in China, there is plenty of opportunity to train, play and socialise.

Coastal City Shopping MallView In Map
Add: Fourth floor, Wenxin Lu, near Binhe Lu, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 186 6629 8993 (Richard)
Time: Monday, 10:00-12:00; Wednesday, 10:00-12:00; Friday, 22:30-00:30
Price: 120 RMB per session

5) Running: Hash House Harriers
The ubiquitous “drinking club with a running problem” has been running, walking and staggering every weekend in Shekou since 1984. The idea is to get everyone you know out for a great day of gentle or severe exercise (the choice is yours) followed afterwards by well-earned festivities. Conveniently located in Shekou, where many overseas families live, this can be a great way to meet like-minded people.

The Snake PitView In Map
Add: G-16 A, Taizi Square, Taizi Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳南山区蛇口海上世界电子广场G16-A 蛇吧
Tel: 139 2466 6589
Time: Saturday, 13:00
Price: Men, 60 RMB; Women, 40 RMB; Children, Free

6) Squash
It’s not all team sports in Shenzhen. If you are feeling fit then a session on the squash court is sure to put you to the test. This group of local residents meets once a week for a grueling smash around the court, ensuring that any weekend overindulgence be evenly exonerated by the sweat of your brow. Even if you haven’t played before, they welcome anyone who wants to come and try, free of charge if you bring your own racket.

Minghua International Convention CentreView In Map
Add: 8 Guishan Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳市南山区蛇口龟山路8号
Tel: 134 3053 5486 (Paul)
Time: Monday, 19:00-21:00
Price: Free but racket hire is 20 RMB

7) Mixed Martial Arts
Despite what people may think, you don’t have to be an iron-man or woman to take up Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Wan Sheng Fight Club was created a few of months ago in order to promote physical and mental fitness for people from all walks of life. In MMA, fighters can work on one or all of three main disciplines; striking, wrestling and ground-work. According to club co-founder Woody, the club is mainly composed of foreigners at present, though he is looking to attract a wider clientele. With top quality equipment and a flexible range of training times, MMA just might be your thing if you are serious about fitness.

Wan Sheng Fight Club View In Map
Add: Second Floor, Jiahua Shopping Mall,  Honghu Yijie, Louhou District, Shenzhen
地址: 深圳市罗湖区 洪湖一街嘉华商城二楼
Tel: 186 6589 9469 (Woody)
Time: Monday, 20:00-22:00; Wednesday, 20:00-22:00; Saturday, 17:00-19:00
Price: 100 RMB

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Keywords: Shenzhen sports clubs Shenzhen expat sports club sports clubs foreigners Shenzhen Shenzhen clubs and teams


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Please come train with me and learn the 4 ranges of fighting plus extra long range and tight trapping range. Classes are currently held in a one-on-one basis for maximum growth. During your classes you will learn a variety of non-classical Jeet Kune Do concepts. Classes may or may not contain running, jumping, stretching, calistenics, and more based on basic conditioning. You will also learn Sumbratta in a 3 step flow, Sinawali 3,4,5 step methods, trappping drills from Wing Chun and Kali, Straight Blasts punching, Western Boxing, rythem of 3, footwork and head movement, Thai kick- thai and inside shin kicks, Pananjakman, Elbows, Knees and Headbutts, sensitivity drills, arm locks, chokes, hold, restraints, toe kicks, Panantukan, nerve destrucions, range control, eye jabs/groin smashes, arm bashing based on crosstraning trapping, weapon training for the empty hand and more. Let's have fun and train. The Jeet Kune Do Fighting Arts

Jul 31, 2012 01:04 Report Abuse


David Harper

Some of the best rugby team players train in fusion fitness gym on Fisherman's Wharf in Shekou near Rose Garden Phase 3. There also martial arts and mixed martial arts classes at fusion fitness gym.

May 15, 2012 23:09 Report Abuse