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Chinese school's dream trip to West Ham and Wolves

25 Jan 2020

Winners of 2019 Asia Trophy's Premier Skills Cup experience PL Kicks, Primary Stars and Academy football at the two clubs

Across Asia celebrations for the Lunar New Year are taking place and for one school in a province of Nanjing, China, it's been a 12 months to savour. 

A mixed team from Jiangsu Subei won the Under-12 Premier Skills Cup in Nanjing, when the Premier League Asia Trophy came in July 2019. 

Premier Skills, the League's jointly-run programme with the British Council, has engaged more than 1.3million young people across China since 2009, by developing coaches, referees and coach educators.

The Jiangsu Subei team's reward for winning the tournament last summer was a visit to West Ham United, whose coaches mentored them during the competition, and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"For a lot of these children and for the coaches, they’ve never been out of mainland China, so it’s a great experience to come to the UK," Premier Skills coach Graham Robinson said.

"It’s a great opportunity [for them] and for the Premier League it shows we don’t just go and host a tournament, we actually have some longevity."

Back to school

In England, Jiangsu Subei took part in Premier League Primary Stars session on nutrition run by the West Ham United Foundation at St Edmund's Primary School.

Then they joined a Premier League Kicks session, playing against a team of participants in the Foundation's programme. 

"This community session is all about team building, it’s about communication skills and it’s just giving those children opportunity to play and enjoy the beautiful game," Rashid Abba, Employability and Coach Education Manager at West Ham, said.

"This is good for them to learn from each other, learn different cultures as well, and it’s what the football does."

The Chinese schoolchildren then went to London Stadium to watch the Hammers play Arsenal at London Stadium. 

Meeting compatriots at Wolves
Jiangsu Subei's Wolves academy visit
The kids from Jiangsu Subei met Wolves Academy's Chinese players

Next they went to Wolves for two days, where they trained at Wolves' Academy.

They also met Chinese players from the club's youth system, including development squad trio Dongda He, Tsun Dai and Hong Wan.

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