Thirteen children from rural areas of Yuzhong County, Gansu province will visit the U.K. for a two-week soccer exchange program before the end of December.
Most of the children are from remote mountainous areas. Though some have played soccer outside the province before, this is the first international exchange in which the students will participate.
“I’ve heard of the U.K., and it’s an ancient country,” said Yang Boyuan, one of the participating children.
Short training courses at Arsenal football club will be arranged for the children after they arrive in U.K. Meanwhile, they will have the opportunity to visit U.K. universities and watch Premier League games.
According to Hu Min, a teacher accompanying the children on the trip, soccer education has not only enriched the after-school lives of the students, but also provided more options for their futures. Ma Anwu, principal of a local middle school, said that the trip is of great significance for the students.
“By experiencing the culture and training methods of a true soccer power, a solid foundation will be laid for the students in terms of soccer expertise,” Ma said. The students will also be shown during the trip that they can alter their own fates through sheer effort, Ma added.
Recently, a series of activities has been carried out in Yuzhong County to promote soccer education. In addition, more and more soccer fields are being constructed in schools around the county, which will be open to the public in the future.