What’s the craic? Even in the skyscraper-full metropolis that is Beijing, sport still takes place in the green, astroturfed, and clay corners of the city. Primo Irish pub Paddy O’Shea’s emerges as an unlikely champion of competitive exercise, as it hosts this year’s sports team sign up extravaganza on Sep 14 from 8 pm onwards.
The event will play host to 12 different sports clubs and members from those teams, which include individual and team sports for men and women and for beginners or advanced players. It’s the best place to find reliable information about sports clubs in Beijing. This year, the Beijinger has teamed up with Paddy’s to present what is one of the most comprehensive comings-together of sports teams in the capital.
Whether it’s football, rugby, running, ice hockey, darts, Gaelic football, cricket, handball, volleyball, bike polo, and even eSport that you’re looking for, each will be represented outside the front of the bar, with a member of the respective teams ready to discuss their athletic fixtures and sling cool merch to the capital’s sports lovers.
Even if sports aren’t your forte, the teams are friendly and organize many a social event throughout the year so you can always join a sports club as a social member just to have fun, meet new people, and revel in the warmth that only team spirit can bring.
Not only that, if you join one of the Paddy’s-sponsored sports teams, you’re granted a discount at the bar (find out full details on the night). Without further ado, these are the teams that will participate in Friday’s sports fair bonanza.
Hash House Harriers (Men and Women)
Dubbed “a drinking club with a running problem,” the Hash House Harriers (hash.cn, AKA HHH, H3, Hashers) was originally established as a club in what is today known as Malaysia in 1938, before coming to Beijing in 1979. The HHH are a friendly, social, non-competitive, beer-motivated running club and part of an international network of about 2,000 local chapters that stretch across each of the world’s seven continents.
Beijing Ducks Cricket Club (Men)
The Beijing Ducks Cricket Club (beijingduckscc.com) was established in 2016 as Beijing’s premier social cricket team. The Duck’s went on to win the Sean Connery Shield of Dream
at the coveted Nanjing Rural Sixes that same year, leading to high expectations for the prestigious Beijing Sixes. However, an over-indulgence in beers led to them walking away with the Wooden Spoon Trophy, setting the tone for this social cricket team and leading to a form that can be described as patchy at best. They are, however, consistent in some aspects – exuding a deep love of the game and of cold beer.
Beijing Celtic Football Club (Men and Women)
Beijing Celtics Club (beijingcelticfootballclub.com) was founded in 2002 and play as part of the International Friendly Football Club (IFFC) league, and are always looking for new members to play some football and be part of the Beijing Celtic community. They have (A and B) teams in both divisions of the IFFC League.
Aardvarks Rugby Club (Men and Women)
The Aardvarks (beijingaardvarks.org) are Beijing’s largest (and most social) rugby club, made up of a men’s and a women’s team with a wide range of players from all over the world. The team is all about meeting new friends, playing good rugby, having fun socializing, and are open to players of all levels; from experienced through to people just keen to make friends and learn a new sport.
Megatons Darts Club (Men and Women)
Created in 2013, the Megatons play as a part of the friendly Beijing league, which they have already won twice. The club is open to absolutely everyone and plays the league every Thursday and practices every evening during weekdays.
Gaelic Athletic Association (Men and Women)
The Beijing Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA, beijinggaa.org) club is one of the city’s most established international sports clubs and has participated in Gaelic football and hurling competitions throughout China and Asia. However, Beijing GAA is more than just a sporting club as it provides a welcoming presence to those who have left Irish shores and arrived in China’s capital for the first time. It also brings together people from different backgrounds and cultures, where long-term friendships are often built.
Natooke, Beijing Bike Polo Club (Men and Women)
Established in Beijing several years ago, and somehow hidden from the Beijing Sports Radar,
The Bike Polo Club offers a fun and fast-paced game that requires agility, strength, and endurance. And as the name states, it is played on bicycles (even share bikes!); teams of three attempt to score by shooting a ball with a mallet into the opposing team’s net.
The Natooke Beijing Bike Polo Club aims to create a fun, competitive and welcoming environment for all skill levels, from complete newbies who’ve never even heard of bike polo and want to try it for the first time, to experienced players who know how to run competitive plays. The Bike Polo Club strives to create a community that respects, welcomes and supports everyone, and of course… have fun!
The crew gets together on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 7pm at the west gate of the Workers’ Gymnasium.
Beijing Dragons, Volleyball Team (Women)
The Beijing Dragons, as part of the women’s volleyball league, is open to all abilities. Come along and learn how to play volleyball, meet more women from across Beijing, and most importantly have fun, fun, fun.
Fireballs Ice Hockey Team (Men and Women)
The Fireballs (beijinghockey.com) are one of the eight teams that make up the Beijing International Ice Hockey (BIIH) league. Consisting of 140 expatriates and Chinese nationals that all share the passion of playing ice hockey in China, players and supporters of the BIIH take an immense amount of pride in being involved, making this not only a hockey league but a way of life.
Electronic Sports Club (Men and Women)
A collaborative community for fighting games, including Smash Brothers, Street Fighter, and more. Featuring weekly tournaments and other special events, we hope to bring in competitive and casual minded players of all skill levels from veterans to first-timers. Join us in the camaraderie and fun of competitive gaming.
Beijing Handball Club (Men and Women)
Join the Beijing Handball club every Saturday afternoon at Chaoyang Park for friendly games.
F45, Beijing Gym Club (Men and Women)
Born in Australia, F45 (f45training.cn) training merges three separate leading-edge fitness training styles into one, making for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training, and functional training. The fusion of these three training concepts has lead to the development of 31 different 45-minute workout experiences. The concept is simple: a 45-minute high-intensity circuit training workout class that is never repeated, in order to burn fat and build lean muscle mass.