Wuxi to add 50 football featured schools in 2017
2017-03-20 14:33:00

Wuxi Education Bureau strove to improve the health of China's grassroots football in a meeting held on March 13 that discussed the development of football in the Jiangsu province city and announced the addition of 50 football featured schools in the coming year.

Representatives of 51 football featured schools in Wuxi receive glass plaques at a campus football promotion meeting held in the city on March 13. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The East China city currently boasts 51 such institutions, as well as five special kindergartens, and the meeting marked the occasion by awarding the football education centers with commemorative plaques. The gathered officials also bestowed three particularly excellent football campuses with the title of expert centers.

According to the city's education bureau, a football featured school must host at least one football class every week contrary to the normal practice of offering football simply as an extra-curriculum activity.

Furthermore, the 50 featured football schools all employ at least one full-time football teacher- though outstanding institutions, such as Jiangyin No.2 Middle School, Yuhong Primary School and Yixing Experimental Primary School, hire up to four such specially trained individuals.

Since the inception of the efforts in 2015, the city has launched around 60 separate footballing initiatives targeting the improvement coaches, referees, management, and volunteering. A broad aim of the programs is to increase participation in the world's most popular sport and the authorities hope to hit 200,000 by the end of 2017.

The education bureau also used the meeting to outline its organization and funding strategy across the coming year with the city pledging 3 million yuan ($430,000) per annum on football related efforts.

Wuxi's football league system is spread across three tiers; city, district, and schools. While the development of football in the city is still in its infancy, one football-related story that gained traction came in Aug 2016 when Wuxi No.1 Middle School footballers returned home with silver medals in U18B Group of 2016 Gothia Cup, a prestigious international youth football competition.

Source:chinadaily.com.cn Editor:Hiram