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Eric brings football to China

Monday, 16 September 2019

In May, Sixth Former Eric flew with his mother to Beijing. Although both of them have been studying Mandarin for a few years with the help of textbooks and a native speaker, their enrolment in a two-week summer language program marked a significant departure.

Eric comments: “The course was excellent. I was the youngest there by what must have been about ten years, but it didn’t matter. The other students were amiable and determined; a lively crew too, mostly from London and London School of Economics graduates associated with the Confucius Institute. I couldn’t praise the instruction and the facilities more highly. It was a rich and beneficial time. With confidence, I can say that my Mandarin improved a whole lot.”

So far, so good. However, Eric’s visit to China took an unexpected turn when his host from the University, Professor Wang, picked up on the fact that he loved football. Immediately, Eric was asked to write down in Mandarin all the English drills he could teach the pupils. Changing proudly into his CLS kit and boots, Eric led his first coaching session. It went so well that he was asked by Professor Wang if he wanted to do a second bit of coaching the following week.

Eric’s experience of using his Mandarin to bring football to enthusiastic Chinese pupils was an amazing example of how rewarding learning a language can be. Reflecting on his summer success, Eric says: “Who knows, one of those kids might become a player in China’s Super League, for Sinobo Guoan, or Jingsu. In Professor Wang's own words “A seed of friendship and dedication has been planted by Eric’s contribution now and a bountiful harvest of Sino-UK fraternity is waiting for us in future."

We congratulate Eric on being such a positive ambassador for football and the School.

Changing proudly into his CLS kit and boots, Eric led his first coaching session.
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