60 coaches from different schools and colleges across China and are taking part in the BU China Football Study Programme, a new initiative in collaboration with partners AFC Bournemouth.
BU made a successful bid for funding from the British Council for the summer training. The project was announced following the UK-China Government Summit in September 2015 and BU was one of only three successful UK Universities from the 35 who put in a bid.
The BU China Football Study Programme is running for three months this summer, with Bournemouth University running the academic side of the programme and AFC Bournemouth delivering the more hands-on elements of the coaching. BU academics are leading a programme of lectures and seminars around the principles, psychology and theory behind coaching and management and the Chinese coaches will also receive practical coaching and conditioning sessions from Premier League AFC Bournemouth coaches and from SportBU (BU’s sporting activity team).
Bournemouth University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney said, “We are delighted to be working with our partners AFC Bournemouth to deliver this important programme for the football coaches who have joined us from China – another example of our increasing global links. It is good to be able to share our academic knowledge with coaches who will put it into practice for the benefit of their teams in China, where this learning will underpin the development of local football infrastructure.”
Richard Shipway, Senior Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, is leading on the academic side of the training. He said, “As an integral part of a collaborative programme, the practical coaching elements, taught by AFC Bournemouth and SportBU respectively, are complemented with insights into the theoretical perspectives of coaching, delivered by several internationally renowned sports academics from the Department of Sport and Physical Activity (SPA) at Bournemouth University. The academic subjects covered include sport physiology, sport psychology, talent identification, managing elite performance, and sport technology.”
Steve Cuss is Head of AFC Bournemouth’s Sports Community Trust, and is working on the coaching side of the programme. He said, “We are enjoying working with the coaches from China on the study programme, their knowledge and enthusiasm is of a very high standard. We have been delighted to show the coaches, coaching styles, philosophy and infrastructure of AFC Bournemouth which hopefully will prove beneficial to all the coaches on their return to China”.
The coaches are staying at the Lansdowne Point accommodation, a BU residence managed by Kaplan International College, and studying on campus, as well as at AFC Bournemouth’s training ground.
The strategic partnership between BU and AFC Bournemouth was a key factor in creating a bespoke three month programme that BU submitted for funding to the British Council China UK Football Study. The study programme aims to use the UK’s expertise and resources to help football coaches from Chinese schools and universities learn more about football management; improve their technical skills and theoretical knowledge; and develop their capacity to train young people and increase China’s football competitiveness.
The links built between BU and China underline BU’s increasing international reputation; in 2016, BU was announced in the Times Higher Education top 200 list of the most international universities in the world. This accolade reflects BU’s increasing international reputation and the worldwide reach it has gained in recent years, following on from the Global BU strategy, which is committed to developing global talent of staff and students, driving global thinking through research and delivering global traction through professional practice.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are globally recognised, and Times Higher Education has used the ‘international outlook’ indicator of the World University Rankings to determine the top 200 most international universities. All institutions in the top 800 of the rankings have been considered. This makes the inclusion of Bournemouth University in the list of the top 200 most international universities a significant achievement.
The Chinese coaching study programme forms part of the China State Council’s plan to boost the development of football in the country, with aims to train 50,000 full-time and part-time football coaches by 2020. The programme is coming at a time of growth in the game in China and with the Chinese government having announced their intention to become a footballing superpower by winning a World Cup by 2050.