The Influence of Sports on a Lawyer’s Life: An Interview with Award-Winning Sportsman Lawyers

The Recreation and Sports Programme (the “Programme”) is an annual programme under the Recreation and Sports Committee (“RSC”). It aims at encouraging members to lead a balanced life within demanding work routines and to network with their fellow members and other professional bodies by taking part in various recreational and sporting activities.

In recognition and appreciation of those members under the Programme who have actively taken part in its activities and sweat for the pride of the Law Society, as well as promoting good sportsmanship, each year, the RSC will invite nominations and applications from members for the Outstanding Performance Award (the “Award”).

Two outstanding sportsman lawyers, namely Mr. Allen Che and Mr. Calvin Cheng, received the Award in 2017-2018. They have both made marvellous achievements in different areas of recreation and sports in the past year. In this and the next issue of the RSC Feature, the candidates will share with us their secrets to success and achieving work-life balance. We will start with Calvin for the first round.

When and why did you start playing sports/engaging in recreational activities?

I started playing sports when I was in grade 6. I went to an all-boys boarding school in grade 6 and video games and sports were everything.

What made you join the Recreation and Sports Programme?

I joined the Programme purely for the passion that I have for sports. It is the best activity to maintain a work-life balance and to connect with those whom I would not have the opportunity to meet without the Programme.

What sports/recreational activities are/have you been involved in?

I am involved in badminton, ultimate frisbee, basketball and dragon boat, in addition to firm sporting/corporate events such as friendly football matches and Walk Up Jardine House.

How often do you play sports/engage in recreational activities?

I usually train three times every week.

Do you think sports and recreation help you at work? Can you share your secrets for achieving work-life balance?

I am a strong believer that sports and recreation help at work. It keeps my mind fresh and active. A different part of our brain is stimulated at work and during sports and in order to keep our mind fresh, we must utilise one just as much as the other.

How would you describe your relationship with other team/group members?

We have become very close friends, though I must say, as a team leader, I would prefer some social distance with my fellow members to avoid any favouritism in the team which would weaken the team’s competitiveness.

How do you see the role of the coach in a sports team/recreational group?

The role of the coach is vital. The coach draws the team together while the captain leads the team. To have a strong and healthy team, both need to co-exist.

Would you recommend the Recreation and Sports Programme to your friends in the profession?

Without hesitation, yes. The Programme offers an opportunity to meet fellow Law Society members not just at a social level but at a personal level. I feel the way sports bring people together is like no others. People inevitably show their true self in playing sports and naturally, that will grow true friendships. I highly recommend all members to come and try it for themselves. 

Can you share your feelings towards being awarded?

It is an honour to receive such an award. I will continue to live up to the name and will influence others to aim for the same.

How would you define sportsmanship?

Attitude and respect. I believe a sportsman is one who can keep a game competitive yet friendly; keep a teammate close but a fellow competitor closer.

Is there any memorable sporting moment of yourself?

Winning gold back to back in one of the biggest Asian Ultimate Frisbee tournaments held in Manila, and having to miss my return flights two years in a row for booking the return flight to Hong Kong too early.

Anything you wish to share with your learned friends about recreation and sports/work-life balance?

Work takes up a lot of our times but life is not just about work. We all have aspirations in life but they somehow fade away in the pursuit of our career. We should find time to achieve them.

Ultimate Frisbee, Hong Kong Open (2009)

Ultimate Frisbee, Manila Spirits (2009)

Ultimate Frisbee, Hong Kong Open (2015)

Hong Kong Men’s Team at the Asia Oceanic Ultimate & Guts Club Championships (2015)

Badminton, C Grade Hong Kong Badminton Doubles League (2010)

Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Lawyers Sports Meet (2015)

Hong Kong–Shenzhen Lawyers Cup (2017)

Stanley Dragon Boat Championships (2015)