Dr HO Ka Ki Lawrence

"Home" and "Away" in Hong Kong: How to Utilize Communal Identities for the Sustainable Development of Sports in Hong Kong

Project year: 2018-2019

Funded by Dean’s Research Fund, May 2018

This study investigates how football could utilize regional identities in Hong Kong to further develop its socio-economic potential. We would study a number of questions that would envision our understanding to the socio-cultural potential of local sports clubs in (re-)building regional identities: How is football used to construct a “home” identity in community? How does the production of “local heroes” – who are often non-locals – affect and diversify the understanding of a community fan identity? How to utilize communal identities to promote the development of football? What kind of “best practices” can be identified to strengthen fan participation among local football clubs? And what are the challenges to reconcile differing perspectives between regional sporting communities and governing bodies? The answers would serve as useful tips to local football clubs, as well as the Hong Kong Football Association in general, on how to understand and foster place-based fan communities in Hong Kong. Academically, our data would be a good platform to review how those intellectual discourses on district-based sports development, mainly derived from the Anglo-Saxon context, could be applied to Hong Kong, and even the Greater China region in communal work of clubs.