Wenzhou, 9 Sep (ZXS) -- Topic: Overseas Chinese hometown has a "dream": Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province's road to find "balls."

Authors: Shao Yanfei, Fu Feiyang, Zhou Jian

As one of the co-host cities of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Zhejiang will host some football matches. But looking back on the past, the connection between this hometown of overseas Chinese and the "world's first sport" is not as simple as hosting the Asian Games.

In the local area, historical stories tell the wonderfulness of football, many overseas Chinese help the development of football, and "social forces run sports" set off a national football boom... It may be said that Wenzhou is a city that is full of "ball addiction".

Throughout the ages, there have been many talents in the green field

The football story of Wenzhou can be told more than 600 years ago.

In the city's ancient Ming Dynasty houses, several wadang are depicted with the motif of a woman rolling and juggling. It can be seen that "football" has a wide popular base in Wenzhou in the Ming Dynasty.

On April 1937, 4, Zhejiang Ou Daily reported the match between the Wenzhou High School football team and the British warship football team. This match can be called the first international football match in Wenzhou, and it is also the earliest recorded football match in Wenzhou.

After the founding of New China, Wenzhou football ushered in a period of rapid development. In 1958, many Wenzhou players were selected to join the newly established Zhejiang Provincial Football Team. In 1973, Wenzhou Junior Sports School established a football training team, and Wenzhou players who retired from Zhejiang Provincial Team took up the coaching of the team.

"These football coaches helped Wenzhou win the 'three consecutive championships' of the Zhejiang Provincial Games. During this period, the main force of the Wenzhou team, that is, the main force of the Zhejiang provincial team. Zhou Lixu, executive vice chairman of the Wenzhou Football Association, said in an interview.

After 2000, Wenzhou has walked out of a number of "international footballers", and in large-scale football events, there are more and more "Wenzhou people"... In fact, this is due to the local people's always adhering to the concept of "football should start from the baby" and vigorously carrying out football education.

On September 9, students from a primary school in Wenzhou participated in soccer training. Photo by China News Agency reporter Fu Feiyang

According to statistics, Wenzhou has established 267 provincial and national football schools (kindergartens) in Zhejiang and 183, ranking first and second in Zhejiang Province. Wenzhou Yangyi No. <> Primary School is one of them, its football team has repeatedly achieved excellent results, and has exported many outstanding football players. "We promote football vigorously, and every class has at least one soccer lesson per week, guided by professional football coaches." Hu Mingdong, the school's principal, introduced.

"Overseas Chinese" Connecting the World The strength of football has steadily improved

Wenzhou is a famous hometown of overseas Chinese in China, and local football is characterized by "overseas Chinese". On the one hand, overseas Chinese actively participate in football activities and match football exchanges; On the other hand, the local area makes use of overseas Chinese resources to attract outstanding overseas Chinese youth players and cultivate new players of Wenzhou nationality and internationalization.

For example, in 2019, the Yangyi No. <> Primary School campus football team, led by Wang Xiaojun, an overseas Chinese from Wenzhou, went to Brazil to carry out training. With "ball" as the medium, it has become a good story to witness the friendship between China and Pakistan.

In April this year, under the guidance of Lu Rongyi, an overseas Chinese from Wenzhou, the Ouyan Club set up a Chinese (Wenzhou) youth team to participate in the Apennine Cup (U4) International Youth Football Championship in Italy. It is reported that this is the first time that Wenzhou has represented the Chinese youth football team in an international youth football tournament.

"This competition is a good opportunity for cooperation, our youth go out and bring back the football competition, combine Chinese culture and Western experience, and build their own football development model according to China's national conditions." Lu Rongyi said.

Nowadays, the significance of overseas Chinese football foreign exchanges is far more than itself. With "overseas Chinese" as the bridge and "ball" as the carrier, Wenzhou has closer relations with overseas cities, and exchanges and mutual learning in various fields such as economy and trade, tourism and culture have become more frequent.

Private enterprises help The football atmosphere is becoming increasingly strong

Wenzhou is an important birthplace of China's private economy. Zhou Lixu introduced that in the 20s of the 90th century, Wenzhou entrepreneur Zhou Dahu funded the establishment of a football team, opening a precedent for "social forces to run sports". Subsequently, the Wenzhou football tournament held by social funds became more and more powerful.

In 2007, 17 Wenzhou entrepreneurs jointly founded the city's first professional football club, Wenzhou Tomorrow Football Club. At that time, the model of entrepreneurs raising funds to form professional football clubs had never existed, which caused a sensation in the industry.

Private enterprises have followed suit, and in 2017, Wenzhou became the only pilot city in China for "social forces to run sports". Wenzhou's local enterprises have become one of the important guarantees for the development of Wenzhou's football industry.

"Football training institutions set up by social forces have developed rapidly, such as Ouyan Football Club, which has a standard 11-a-side football field and air film stadium facing Oujiang, and has led Wenzhou teenagers to overseas exchange competitions many times." Cai Yang, deputy director of the Tourism and Sports Center of the Lucheng District Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports, said in an interview.

Today, Wenzhou has more than 600 football stadiums, and the construction of football cultural venues such as the World Wenzhou People's Football Living Room and the Football History Hall is also advancing step by step. Based on the venue, Wenzhou vigorously holds various football events, Zhejiang provincial football matches, youth and children's football championships and other wonderful events...

In fact, Wenzhou football is also the epitome of the development of sports in Zhejiang and even China. In recent years, China has continuously achieved fruitful results in international exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as building a strong sports country and promoting the development of the sports industry. With sports as the power, the Olympic motto of "faster, higher, stronger - more united" is reflected in all aspects of China. (End)