Shaolin Temple has built a soccer school to groom junior talents, the chief coach of Shaolin warrior-monks said Wednesday.
The school named Shaolin Youth Soccer Academy was built in a warrior-monks training base last October which belonged to Shaolin Temple. About 2,000 children under 10 years old are learning Shaolin Kungfu here, and about 40 of them started to learn soccer now.
"It's just the beginning, more children will start to play football after some professional football fields are built, and we believe that some of them will become international superstars some day," Shi Yanlu, the chief coach of Shaolin warrior-monks, said.
The school has hired a coach named Tchami from Cameroon, who was once a member of the Cameroon national team.
"Shaolin Kungfu makes them strong and skillful, so it's good to learn playing football," Tchami said.
"Now, the Chinese soccer is not very good, and needs to bring in new elements. Shaolin Kungfu and soccer are similar in some aspects, especially the brave and diligent spirit of Kungfu, which I think will help promote the level of Chinese soccer," said Shi Yanlu.
The school got support from the Chinese Football Association, which gave 1,000 balls as gifts half a month ago.
"It's a favorable attempt to combine Shaolin Kungfu and football," said Wang Suisheng, vice general manager of Henan Jianye, a Chinese Super League team.
The school will choose some children to learn football in foreign countries such as Japan, South Korea and European countries.
It will also hire some Chinese coaches to help Tchami to train these children.
Xinhua - Global Times