Republished with Permission
Vien Tsang is a true ‘renaissance’ sports journalist who has managed to cover nearly every aspect of sports media that there is; from radio work to television work to podcasts to writing to even playing and promoting her passion of floorball; there is no sporting leaf which Tsang has left uncovered!
Tsang has always loved sports since she was a young and this has continued to the present day and her passion is now her career and she loves what she does and not many people can say they love their job.
Tsang gave us a trajectory of her career and how it started by ‘accident’; not that she regrets it!
“I have been a sports fan for many years since I was a kid. During my high school time, I knew clearly what I wanted to do; not as a specific occupation but something related to being creative or related to presenting so after graduating from school, my classmates kept saying, that I should be a journalist but I had never related to this field especially sports journalism. After graduating from university, my friends’s friend happen to know that there was a vacancy in the Hong Kong “Sun’ newspaper so I went to talk to the editor for an interview so this is how I accidentally got into the industry. I made this remark, as one of my big regrets in life, is that in my childhood and when I was a full time student, I tried different sports but due to my school’s culture, I was not placed into proper training so if I could have a ‘second chance’, I would try my luck as an athlete again so this is why I have so much passion for floorball.”
Tsang has had the chance to view sports culture in Hong Kong and globally from up close and she said Hong Kongers do love sports though as a ‘culture’ it is not as ingrained as other places though this is slowly changing.
“I think, in general, as you know, Hong Kongers do love sports as you see a lot of Premier League and La Liga football and NBA and things like that. When it comes to the summer Olympics or Asian games, you can see how some people have cheered for the Hong Kong team and some in the past, the China team. In general, the kind of sports culture in Hong Kong is still quite different to what I have observed in other countries. Like, I have tried to work with sports and travel, and as a sports fan I have tried to pay more attention to the sports cultures and events in different places. The general public around the world, how they approach and engage in sports is very different to how they engage in Hong Kong.”
Being a professional athlete is not easy anywhere but is especially difficult in Hong Kong due to the limited opportunities and funding.
“If someone was to pursue their career as a professional athlete then they have to struggle through academics but in other nations, my professional athlete friends might have gone to university, not in Hong Kong, say the USA, they would have a lot of support for them as student athletes or have tutors so obviously this is very different from Hong Kong. From my own observations, say like a WTA (Women’s Tennis) event, then only the community who like the sport will pay attention to it or follow the coverage and the rest of the people will not be aware unless it is like the cyclist, Sarah Lee, competing in the world championships that people will start to pay attention and it seems that people and sports are separated.”
Tsang is a strong believer in the power of sports to unite and give people dreams and knows the power and potential of sport to improve people’s lives.
“Despite that not everyone in Hong Kong is very connected with sport or aware of every sports event, I’d still say there are quite a lot of sports lovers here; just like you and me! And we can always find our ways to accomplish our sports goals and dreams. I, being a floorball player/sports presenter, am eager to enjoy and see the different possibilities in sports & in HK. Sport is more than competitive matters, it’s social, cultural and can be practiced in many levels. To anyone who reads and fellow sports people, please do believe in sport together. The power and the possibilities of it.”
Tsang has been fortunate enough to meet celebrities from the world of sports including Liverpool players, Yao Ming and the Williams sisters.
“I was working at Missions Hills in marketing for sports so they invite Yao Ming and people like Nicole Kidman and they try and participate in the Pro-Am event so that is how I met Yao Ming.”
As a sports journalist, Tsang raised the point that a highlight of her career was seeing sports people grow and develop through the years.
“Through my media career, there is no one specific interview which stands out but it is interesting to see how the media and sports people grow as one generation of athletes would be represented by one generation of journalists as some will play throughout an entire athletes career. If I see some local athletes retiring I feel I am getting older as new athletes would come up and you would not be able to relate to the younger generations as you would have younger media people covering them. For local athletes; it is a pleasure to be a friend with them and see how they grow.”
Tsang said the transition from fan to a person working inside the sports industry was a great experience as, instead of watching from the stands, she can meet and talk to a whole array of personalities from the sports world.
“For the bigger names, it is pleasure as a well, as when I was student, I would purchase a ticket to watch the China volleyball team or the WTA events but when I became a sports journalist, I have the chance to be in close proximity to the Williams sisters and Sharapova. I remember at a press conference, I went to look at something and I almost fell down and Venus Williams was like “Are you ok?” I remember as a student, I used to get the tickets to sports events and then queue up all the way to get an autograph from players and now I get to meet them and speak to them”
Tsang loves the sport of floorball and is a driving force in the development of the game in Hong Kong and hopes more and more people, from all backgrounds, can learn to love the sport that she has adopted.
“I love Floorball and it has been a regret not to commit to a sport when I was younger so field hockey was something I would like to try especially as I studied at Hong Kong university and HKU is one of the places which play field hockey. I liked it as hockey was not a super mainstream sport which I could try later than normal and of course, HK team players are experienced though as I had been watching football for many years, I could grasp the idea of field hockey and approached the game in the same way. I interviewed Tiffany and her manager and Tiffany brought me into field hockey so this is how I started playing amateur hokey. I came across floorball after I interviewed someone in my podcast programme and they asked me to come and have a try and I said I would love too as I wanted to try one more sport that I can handle. I like it even more than field hockey now as it is fast and quick and I see the potential and when I travel, I try and play with different players so I see the different standards around the world. I see the potential for the Hong Kong players and want to help develop a Hong Kong women’s team.”
Tsang runs the floorball team, ‘Hong Kong Kiddos’ and explained where the name comes from.
“The team name, ‘Hong Kong Kiddos’ comes from the Chinese saying ‘You should try and do things with a childhood passion’ so I would like to keep this idea in mind and in our team and I would like to keep this name in our team and keep the name, Hong Kong, as we are players based in Hong Kong.”
The beauty of the game comes from its simplicity. All that is required is a relatively light plastic stick and a plastic ball.
“Floorball is easy to learn and even easier to learn than field hockey. The stick and balls are lighter but at the same time, it is easy to learn but hard to master it. The pace and rhyme and positioning are things to learn and it is fun and when people see the stick, people do want to try. The HK federation promotes a selling point that the sport is not expensive and the equipment is light and it is presented as a ‘cool’ sport that everyone should play. It is a game that people would try a proper game in it and people can see why people enjoy it so much!”
Tsang expressed that Hong Kong Kiddos is open to all and she welcomes anyone to come and join one of the fastest team games around!
“We welcome everyone to try and it is open to men, women and kids and everyone can try and we don’t mind if you are not the best player but we like passion and commitment so please come!”
For more on Hong Kong Kiddos, go here: https://www.instagram.com/hk.kiddos_floorball/
For more on Vien – go here: https://www.tsangsm-vien.com/