A high-level delegation has visited Bournemouth University to assess the progress of 60 Chinese football coaches who are being trained by BU and AFC Bournemouth over the summer.
The coaches, all from China, began their training in July and hope to take their new football coaching skills back to China to develop leading football players for the future.
BU’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity and SportBU are working alongside partners AFC Bournemouth to deliver the training – offering academic and physical skills training to boost the knowledge of the coaches.
The delegation from the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) visited to have a look at the training taking place and met with key members of BU’s academic team to assess the project’s success.
Among those in attendance from Bournemouth University was Dr Sonal Minocha, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), she said, “We were delighted to host the Deputy Secretary General and his colleagues as he visits Bournemouth and the 60 football coaches currently training under the BU and AFCB partnership.
“We are excited to be a part of the Chinese Football Story at this early stage, as China develops its football infrastructure and talent. We aim to strengthen our partnership with FUSC beyond this programme through the talks we held on Sunday.”
Mr Yanqing Xue , Deputy Secretary General of FUSC, said, “Not only have the Chinese coaches advanced in football theory and skills but they learnt how to engage with the local community in the UK. This programme has shaped our thinking with our football mission on integrating football with the university, community and society, which makes football quite normal in our life.
“It is an excellent beginning of the collaboration between China-UK football industries, which has built a sound foundation for future potential projects.”
BU was one of only three successful UK universities from the 35 who put in a bid, and the strength of AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League position has been of great benefit to the programme.
Ray Xu, Director of Foreign Affairs, FUSC said, “All the coaches are satisfied with the general arrangement of this Chinese Campus Football Study Programme in the UK, from the courses and housing to the culture and food. We appreciate the huge mutual communication and preparation for this programme with BU staff members and we hope we might carry on this programme next year.”
BU made a successful bid for funding from the British Council for the summer training. Qi QI, Head of Events from British Council, said, “We have been interested in whether this programme can be implied successfully as it’s the first time for the Chinese government to invest in such massive human and financial resources. Now we have found the confidence as it is working very well and the coaches have obtained significant achievements, thanks to the joint efforts of everyone involved.”
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 with the Chinese government having announced their intention to become a footballing superpower by winning a World Cup by 2050.