CAFL Moving The Ball Forward in China’s Universities
- Updated: March 3, 2014
Wuhan, China – Continuing its commitment to setting a solid foundation for American style football in China, AFL China and Ganlan Media International (the China-based operating company located in Beijing) officially opened its third University training camp in Wuhan today. The program runs March 3 through 11 on the campus of Wuhan Sports University, one of six China universities who comprise China’s first US-style arena football organization.
The Wuhan training session is the third official week of education and training under the guidance of US-based coaches, players and officials since the Chinese-based arena football league program was founded in May of 2013. Players, coaches, and officials have been in operation, practicing and training on their own, since then.
“This is a significant step forward for our programs here,” said Darrick Branch, the former US pro AFL player and coach, who leads the visiting coaching staff. “The Chinese coaches and officials are eager to take their teams to the next level of learning, and we need to teach face to face, so they understand the next component in our sport – actual, physical blocking and tackling.”
Up until now, the Chinese teams have been busy learning the basics of US-style arena football, concepts that were virtually unknown until a year ago.
To help facilitate this round of training, former NFL offensive tackle Ed Wang, the first Chinese player ever drafted into the NFL, is on hand to lend a valuable hand. “My brother and I (who also played his college ball at Virginia Tech), have long talked about taking our sport to China. I cant wait to get going!” Ed, who speaks fluent Mandarin, is likely to have a tremendous impact on the newcomers, and the local media as well. At 6’5″ and 300 pounds, it will be hard to ignore his presence.
US-based officials and referees are also on hand, and will be busy this weekend, when the
six Chinese teams take to the field in Wuhan for a series of scrimmages between all six universities: Tianjin, Xian, Wuhan, Beijing, Shandong, & Shijiazhuang.
“These players will likely be the first wave of true Chinese players to fill the rosters of our CAFL pro league,” said AFL China president David Niu, who is on hand along with CEO Marty Judge for the trip, which will include vital meetings to that end as well.Contact CAFL