On Sept. 13, 2018, Mr. Zheng Xiyuan, Consul General of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Manchester, attended the commencement ceremony of the 2018 Chinese Campus Football Coaches who are on a study abroad programme at the National Football Museum. Mr. Colin Bridgford, Chief Executive Officer at Manchester Football Association, Ms Jenny Brown, Student Support and Guidance Manager of Manchester Business School, and Ms. Tanya Luff, Head of International Relations at the University of Manchester, also attended the event.
In his speech, Consul General Zheng congratulated all the trainees on the successful completion of their training, and thanked the University of Manchester and the Manchester Football Association for their support and hard work. Zheng said, the University of Manchester is one of the best universities in the UK, and it is a valuable experience for the trainees to have a period of training here. What the trainees will bring back to China include not only the friendship of the British people and the spirit of football, but also the expectations for the future development of Chinese football. President Xi Jinping once said: "The essence of football is more than competition. It is to enhance people's health and to cultivate patriotism, team spirit and perseverance." He said that all the trainees are from the education sector, and when they go back to China they are expected to disseminate the essence and passion of football to the 200 million primary and middle school pupils, thus contributing to the rejuvenation of football in China. Mr. Zheng said that Britain was the birthplace of modern football and a football world power. Sports exchange is an important part of cultural exchange between China and Britain. He hoped that both parties would continue to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation in sports such as football, to improve the training methods, and to enhance cultural exchange between China and the UK.
Mr. Zheng, together with Mr. Bridgford and Ms. Brown, issued certificates of completion to the trainees.