Women's football team shares sporting spirit with Hangzhou students
Young women football players from Hangzhou Jingcheng Experimental School pose with the Chinese women's football team, which was visiting with the Asian Cup championship trophy they lifted last month. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The Chinese women's football team's head coach Shui Qingxia, legend Sun Wen, and six members of the women's football team, such as Wang Shanshan and Wang Shuang, shared tips on perseverance and a fighting spirit with young female football players at the Hangzhou Jingcheng Experimental School on Thursday afternoon. This comes a month after China lifted the AFC Women's Asian Cup after 16 years, and seven months before the Hangzhou Asian Games (from Sept 10 to 25) which has ignited the public's enthusiasm for sporting activities in Zhejiang province.
Thursday's event, supported by the Chinese Football Association and Alipay, helped boost the spirits of the members of the women's football team at this school that specializes in football training. "We hope that the girls can learn something from the women's football team members and strive for greater glory for Chinese women's football in the future," said Du Mengfei, deputy director of the Market Development Department of the organizing committee for Hangzhou Asian Games.
She further said that "as a part of the public welfare activities, named Finding the 2022 Dreams of the Asian Games, initiated by the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee, a total of 2,504 schools at home and abroad had applied, of which 1,482 had been selected."
Sun said that this year's 100-million-yuan ($15.82 million) support funds from the Ant Foundation will go toward enabling outstanding women football players to study abroad and for the construction of youth training centers. In the long-term, the funds can help to continuously improve the capabilities of the Chinese women's football team, helping it to join the ranks of the world's first-class teams as soon as possible."
Alipay, a subsidiary of the Ant Group, will also support the development of football in 100 "Asian Games Football Dreams" schools, so that more young students can enjoy the game, according to Peng Yijie, executive vice chairman of the Ant Public Welfare Foundation.
Fang Xiaoying in Hangzhou contributed to this story.