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Real Madrid ties up with school to offer soccer training lessons in Shanghai

By English. eastday Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 12:00

Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid has teamed up with local education authorities to officially open a training center in Shanghai recently.

The Real Madrid Foundation launched a training center at the Shanghai campus of an international school, American University High School, in Minhang District — the Spanish and European champion’s first training center in China.

The foundation will select 200 boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 17 for a two-week-long training project to be held in late June and August. Real Madrid will open two more training centers in Beijing and Chengdu later this month.

The students will receive training in four sessions with each session of 50 students divided into two classes. The training will be conducted by professional coach from Spain.

“The students will not only receive technical training, but will also be groomed in Real Madrid football cultures and values, leadership, fellowship, tolerance, respect and participation,” said Joaquín Sagués Blesa, Director of the Campus Experience of Real Madrid Foundation.

The Real Madrid foundation said it was confident of promoting its global football education course in China.

“China is not only the fastest growing economy, it also has the potential of developing into an international football power,” Blesa said.

But the high costs — 13,800 yuan (US$2,200) per student — is frightening some parents away.

“My son loves football and he plays the game at school. But it’s just a way of physical exercise and we’ve never considered training him to be a professional football player. The cost is also not cheap for a two week program. I’m not going to send him to the camp,” Yang Hong, the mother of an 8-year-old boy, said.

“And although the course will be conducted in English by foreign coaches, children will remain in Shanghai throughout the process, instead of traveling abroad to experience genuine football culture abroad. I don’t think it worth the price,” she added.

The foundation had tested its program at the same school last summer with 150 children to check out its school’s facilities to host the training.

The program was welcomed by the education commission in Minhang. China’s central government and the municipality in Shanghai have been promoting campus football as one of the key measures to develop football in China.

The city’s education commission had said earlier this month that it will bring in coaches from Spain and England to develop the sport at the grass-roots.



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