Our friends at China Sports Tour are working on a great project. Before reaching out to the outer space, they’re bringing teams from around the planet to compete in a youth football tournament. Please see below their media release.
The first international youth soccer tournament in Beijing reveals details today.
The tournament, named The Great Wall Cup of Beijing, will be hosted by the Beijing Municipal Sports Administration, and undertaken by the Beijing Football Association, the Olympic Sports Center and China Sports Tour. In the first year of the event, the committee will invite teams from all over the world, both boys and girls, in the age categories 14, 16, and 18, as well as eight local teams. The event is considered to be the first ever international youth soccer tournament of this scale to be held in Beijing. International clubs and teams are welcome to register now.
The current status of Chinese soccer teams is unusual, according to Sports Minister Mr. Liu Peng, who states, “The shortage of reserve talent is the key reason for its low level.” The government has already realized the problem and started to focus on youth development. Promoting the international youth soccer tournament is a way to give local youngsters opportunities to communicate and practice with international teams so they can improve their technique and social skills.
“Chinese young players have little chance to play against foreign teams,” says Mr. Yang Junsheng, the president of the Beijing Football Association, “That is the reason why we fully support this event. We hope this tournament can serve as a kind of festival for all young players who participate in it. We sincerely hope this event will also draw more public attention to youth soccer. The Great Wall Cup of Beijing is not only a platform for Chinese youngsters to learn and experience the most advanced soccer skills, but also a window to show Beijing and China to the young generation of the world. We sincerely hope that through the Great Wall Cup, not only can Chinese players learn from other teams, but also first time visitors can have the opportunity to learn the spirit of the city, to experience the culture, the people and the fun.” By using the top sports facilities in Beijing and promoting a combination of culture, sports and travel, the tournament will satisfy participants and make them feel fulfilled by taking part in the one-week event.
Beijing, as a dynastic city, has become a preferred place to host popular international sports events, especially after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. However, a youth soccer tournament has never been hosted there before. Inspired by the successes and great impact of the youth soccer tournaments in Europe, such as the Gothia Cup and Norway Cup, the Great Wall cup is trying to attract boys and girls from all over the world who love this amazing sport, offering them the opportunity to spend a week to enjoy the tournament and experience something unique. “Beijing has become an international city; it has already hosted several big-name events drawing public awareness, yet we do not have any youth sporting events. The Beijing Football Association sincerely hopes to take this opportunity to make the Great Wall Cull of Beijing a symbol of the Post-Olympics Beijing,” Mr. Yang explained.
One highlight of the one-week program of the Great Wall Cup of Beijing is called ChinaTouch. ChinaTouch is a workshop that provides foreign players the opportunity to learn and experience Chinese culture and art. The workshop will be held in the hotel lobby all week so every participant can take part. “Teams can learn basic Chinese, calligraphy, and practice kung fu with our kung fu master,” says Shine Liu, the managing director of China Sports Tour. “We arranged this workshop to allow international teams to experience something new and unique. It is easier to learn and make new friends in a happy atmosphere.”
Mr. Shine Liu also explained more details of the event: “Not only do we want to add fun and cultural elements to this tournament, but we are also trying to create more opportunities for talented players professionally, and that is why we have the ‘Meet the Future Star’ event. Professional coaches, scouts and sports agents from China and other Asian countries will be invited to observe the games, they will pick the players they like, and we will help them to arrange a face-to-face conversation so that they can better get to know each other, and to see if there is any possibility of future cooperation.” Besides these activities already mentioned, a grand opening ceremony, a closing banquet, and a Leaders’ Party will be held during the week.
Teams will also have a selection of sightseeing opportunities. They will get the chance to take a one-day trip to the famous Great Wall, visit the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Drum and Bell Tower, the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, take a tour of old Beijing Hutongs and enjoy a lakeside dinner.
“Inviting international teams to join the Great Wall Cup will make this the biggest international youth soccer event in China ever,” states Mr. Shine Liu, “We feel really honored and excited to be the organization exclusively authorized to promote the tournament internationally.” Back in the late 90s, a youth tournament named “The Four Asia Tigers” was considered to be the most influential youth soccer event in China. Mr. Shine Liu commented, “Unfortunately, the Four Asia Tiger tournament only lasted around three years, and it was Asia-wide only.”
The 2010 Great Wall Cup of Beijing will be held from July 25th-31st at the Beijing Olympic Sports Center Football Park, just across the street from the Bird’s Nest. This tournament will become an annual event in the future and aim to be one of the biggest international sports events in Beijing along with the China Open and the Italian Super Cup.
The Great Wall Cup of Beijing is now looking to cooperate with all kinds of organizations and companies worldwide. Sponsorship packages are also available for companies who want to use this as a platform to introduce their brand and products to China and the world. “The tournament welcomes companies and organizations to join the Great Wall Cup of Beijing together with the teams. With the Beijing Football Association’s support, taking part in the event will definitely help companies to open a window to the Chinese market,” Mr. Shine Liu revealed, “As an international event that is supported and organized by the Beijing Municipal Sports Administration and the Beijing Football Association, media exposure will be inconceivable. Newspaper, portal website and TV media will come in great numbers to report on the tournament and the stories behind it. We believe we will give our sponsors and partners a great return. By participating in this exciting event, companies will not only increase their brand awareness in China, but also build a solid foundation with potential business partners in China. The organizing committee has been talking to Chinese portal websites, national TV stations and influential newspapers. They have all showed great interest in the Great Wall Cup and would like to broadcast, interview and report on it because this is the very first international youth soccer tournament in China, and all media know the importance and significant meaning of the event.” For more information and details about the tournament sponsorship packages, please contact Mr. Shine Liu at [email protected]
Teams from America, Switzerland, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon have already shown interest in coming for the 2010 Great Wall Cup of Beijing. The team registration fee will be waived for teams registering before Feb 28th, 2010. For more information, please visit http://www.thegreatwallcup.com, or email [email protected]