Off the pitch: Hyundai A-League player passions with Chris Harold

We’ve had a rapper from the Newcastle Jets and a Brisbane Roar defender who loves to foster dogs from the RSPCA.

In the next instalment of our series on passions of Hyundai A-League players outside of football, we learn about Perth Glory star Chris Harold’s hobby.

The 24-year-old, who is also studying to be a lawyer, is the Hyundai A-League’s own ‘Eco Warrior’.

During the off-season spent his time scaling Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, encountering bearded pigs and visiting a UNESCO-listed Japanese island.

“Borneo was amazing and eye-opening at the same time,” Harold explains.

“We [Harold and his girlfriend Fran] went to a conservation area on the east coast called the Danum Valley which is pure rainforest and that was just so special.

“We had two-and-a-half-days where we were trekking through the rain forest and saw the wild orangutans, loads of different kinds of monkeys, bearded pigs and an array of insects and birdlife.

“We stayed in a research centre there rather than camping. I didn’t want to slum it and have insects crawling all over me.

“That trip contrasted with the drives that we did from town to town where for two hours at a time we were just driving past palm oil plantations.

“Apparently 60% of Borneo is palm oil plantations now and it was quite sad to see the contrast between the beautiful parts of the island and the plantations.”

When he's not concerning himself with environmental issues, Chris Harold is a handy winger with Perth Glory.
When he's not concerning himself with environmental issues, Chris Harold is a handy winger with Perth Glory.

The environment is a subject close to Harold’s heart.

And when he sees issues regarding the environment, it’s hits the flying winger as hard as any defeat on the football pitch.

Like during his stay on the coral reef island of Pom Pom during the off-season.

“The snorkelling was amazing and one day we saw upwards of 20 green turtles. But within a 24-hour period, the beach on this island that had been clean was covered in rubbish that had washed in from the mainland,” Harold said.

“The people on the mainland live on stilted houses over the water and have no proper refuse system, so a lot of their refuse ends up in the ocean.

“Those elements of the holiday were confronting at times, but were very beneficial in opening our eyes to how we live our own lives back here.

“We’ve tried to go as plastic free as we can in our household since then.”