More than 60 Chinese football coaches have received training from Bournemouth University, AFC Bournemouth and Dorset FA as part of the British Council’s FA-accredited China UK Football Study Programme.
The coaches, who spent the summer studying at BU and Dorset FA, received specialist training to improve practical skills and theoretical knowledge from both the university and Premier League football club, AFC Bournemouth, and were congratulated in a certification ceremony. Practical FA Level 1 and Level 2 coaching courses were delivered by Dorset County Football Association (FA) and AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust team at Hamworthy Football Club in Poole.
Out of 35 Universities that bid to take part in the China UK Football Study Programme, BU was one of only three successful UK Universities, including Manchester and Loughborough, to take part. The recent continuation of a Higher Education partnership between AFCB and BU in May has been instrumental in achieving a successful bid for the programme, which is now entering its third year.
Jim Andrews, Chief Operating Officer at BU, said: “We’ve really enjoyed welcoming the coaches into our community, both at BU and locally. It’s with great pride that we are able to offer them the skills they need to compete on a global sporting stage. The China UK Football Study Programme which closes for a second year, sees a number of important local and national stakeholders come together to offer something unique and special to a select group.
“Working with our Higher Education Partner AFC Bournemouth and Dorset FA, we’ve been able to offer a range of important academic and practical sessions to the delegation, which we are sure, will be leaving Bournemouth with both fond memories and the skills to take them to the next level.”
Dr Sonal Minocha, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Global Engagement at BU, said: “It’s been wonderful to welcome this cohort of Chinese coaches to Bournemouth University. Global engagement is at the core of our vision as a university, and underpins our thinking, research and practice in an increasingly global workplace.
“Working with our Higher Education Partners, AFC Bournemouth, we were able to deliver specialist training, both on and off the pitch, which will form the basis of the future development of Chinese football. At BU, we strive to capture imagination, innovation and skill through Global Talent, and we feel that this programme is reflective of these values both for the university and the football club.”
As a 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) ‘top 200 most international’ university, BU has continued its ongoing commitment to global vision with the Global Talent Programme (GTP) and Destination China summer school, hosted by partner university, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai (BNUZ). The Global Festival of Learning also took place over the summer, which saw BU visit partner institutions in Malaysia, Indonesia, China and India, with six coaches from the 2016 China UK Football Study Programme joining the Festival in Beijing.
The delegation were also able to take part in a number of activities throughout their three-month visit, including a visit to St. George’s Park, home of England’s 24 national teams, and a trip to Wembley Stadium to watch the FA Community Shield football match between Emirates FA Cup winners Arsenal and Premier League champions Chelsea.
As part of their visit, the coaches also spent time at Vitality Stadium, the home of AFC Bournemouth, to tour its facilities and train. Steve Cuss, Head of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust, said, “We have enjoyed welcoming the delegation for a second time this year which was great.”
“The group visited the Vitality Stadium, as well as receiving coaching sessions from the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust coaches. It was a pleasure to work the group and hope the experience will help in their future careers. ”
BU academics led a series of lectures and seminars which look at the psychology and underpinning principles behind coaching and management, which was supported by practical coaching and conditioning sessions from Sport BU.
Martin Dighton, Regional Coach Development Manager at The FA, said: “This year has been the first that Dorset FA has been involved and we’ve enjoyed welcoming and training the coaches taking part in the Chinese coaching study programme. The programme provides them the unique opportunity to see exactly how football works in the UK, both at grassroots and national levels.”
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, using the UK’s expertise and resources to help football coaches from universities and colleges across China learn about the UK’s approach to football management, technical skills, theoretical knowledge, capacity to train young people, increasing China’s football competitiveness.
To read more about BU’s commitment to global vision, please visit: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/global-bu/about-global-bu