By Kandis Wallace, Special to the Citizen 08/09/11
Six representatives from the Richmond Strikers and other area soccer programs flew halfway across the globe to train a Chinese youth soccer league last month.
According to Scott Turner, the Strikers’ executive director, the representatives wanted to reengage the Chinese youth in soccer because the nation has not embraced the sport as much as the U.S. in recent years.
“The Chinese had a great women’s program back in 1999, and they competed in the World Cup against the United States in the final. Since then, their program has gone down while ours has gone up,” said Turner. “So part of this cultural exchange [was because] they are worried about the direction of soccer in China. They want to know how we do it over here.”
As a response to this, 50 coaches and soccer players from the Shanghai Football Association (SFA) participated in a series of sessions and drills led by the representatives for seven and a half hours a day. The delegation leading the five-day sessions were staff members from the Strikers, VCU’s Sports Leadership Program, University of Richmond, and the Virginia Youth Soccer Association.
Among the areas that the delegation focused on with the youth and coaches were attacking and defending, goalkeeping, and sports psychology.
Turner pointed out that Chinese exercise more structured and systematic coaching methods, whereas the United States has a more flexible and interactive approach to coaching. He said that the nation’s strong focus on cultivating Olympic athletes at a young age accounts for the Chinese’s orderly and precise coaching style.
“Over here we want kids to enjoy the game. They’re not going to get good at it unless they love it. And so we tried to teach them how you engage kids on a personal relationship as opposed to a sort of dictatorial relationship,” Turner said.
The delegation completed this final phase of this year-long mission as a part of the Developing and Improving Synergies in Chinese and United States Soccer (DISCUSS) program. During the first phase of DISCUSS, Chinese coaches teamed up with VCU and the Strikers in Richmond to observe the way that U.S. coaches trained their young players so that they could bring new coaching techniques back to their country.
The DISCUSS program, founded two years ago, is a federally funded initiative created with the intent of bettering cultural relations between the United States and China through sport.
The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.
To help celebrate twenty years of service to advocating for abused and neglected children in Henrico County, Henrico Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. (CASA) will host an evening with bestselling author K.L. Randis on Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Belmont Recreation Center in Lakeside.
Randis is best known for her bestselling novel, Spilled Milk, which tells her painful – but ultimately triumphant – personal story of abuse and of child abuse prevention. The book is her first novel.
The Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. attended the Ninth Annual Filipino Festival at Our Lady of Lourdes Church earlier this month. Cuisia (pictured above with festival performers) was welcomed by County Manager John Vithoulkas and Brookland District Supervisor Dick Glover (below) at the church, which is located in Lakeside.
While enjoying some of the cultural performances at the festival, the ambassador and his wife had a private lunch with Vithoulkas, Glover, Eldon Burton (an outreach representative from U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner’s Office) and Father James Begley, the pastor of OLL. > Read more.
Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.
The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is seeking artists, crafters, and creative groups for three opportunities allowing creative thinkers and doers to design and display imaginative holiday decorations.
The center is seeking designs for:
• Illumination 2014 – A Festival of Trees: Artists can celebrate the holiday season by creating a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree filled with decorations to suit any unique or traditional theme. Past trees exhibited have included Buzz Lightyear; HEROES; Santa tree; Musicology; and many others. > Read more.
For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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