Liu Jianhong and Children's Football Program of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation

2008-07-12 09:09:45   China Soong Ching Ling Foundation

Liu Jianhong

Liu Jianhong, "Football Night" host of China Central Television (CCTV), is a man with great enthusiasm in doing good to the public and a strong sense of social responsibility. He is one of the youngest council members of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF). In his eyes, to be a council member of the foundation is not only an honor, but responsibility.

At the Fifth Council Meeting in 2005, Liu Jianhong was elected a member of the council for his long-term commitment to and support for the foundation's children's football program.

Liu began to show his interest in the children's football program of the foundation back to 2001 when the 18th "Bay-Bay Cup" National Children's Football Tournament was held. The "Football Night" covered various events of children's football program, including the 18th "Bay-Bay Cup" National Children's Football Tournament, the First U-13 National Children's Football Training Camp, chairman Hu Qili's meeting with young players from the Xinjiang Soong Ching Ling Football School at the Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling and Hu's visit to Xinjiang Soong Ching Ling Football School.

As an old Chinese saying goes, "Hero comes from youngsters," and no exception for football heroes. The ultimate purpose of the foundation's children's football program is to encourage more and more Chinese children to play football and enjoy the happiness and dynamism that the games bring to them, and to nurture future football stars. How to promote football games among Chinese children is the question that Liu Jianhong has been thinking about and seeking for answer. In July 2006, when he was asked to relay and report China Football Association Super League, Liu proposed a charity activity i.e. "One score one donation of footballs", which turned out to be a great success. In his article entitled CCTV Sowing Seeds of Passion for Football and China Football Association Super League Being Our Future carried by Sports Weekly magazine, Liu gave a detailed account of the whole story. He wrote, "Returning tiredly from the World Cup, I had planned to put my feet up. But we were unexpectedly told to cover China Football Association Super League which was about to kick off in a week. Anyway, I was still excited by the given opportunity to cover our own football game again. While I was writing my work proposal, I once again thought of the long-existing question--- how to connect children, especially those in rural areas, with the Super League? I contacted CSCLF, for I know they have a program for the promotion of football among youngsters in the western part of China. "Great minds think alike!" Soon, CSCLF provided me with a list of 52 schools (mostly in the western part of China) which were badly in need of help. On my part, I got to know what I should do. And I went to contact with Nike through the Super League Company. To my great joy, Nike immediately agreed to support my proposal. Therefore I felt proud for what I have done for linking children with the Super League. Frankly speaking, I have never expected to spot any football star through this kind of activities. I just simply wanted to create more opportunities for children to know more about football. I once thought that if more and more children are strongly interested in football games that mean the seed of passion for the sport was sown in China where such passion is so much needed." In the commentator's seat at the Super League, Liu Jianhong once again shared his insight about the relationship between football and charity. He said, "Football games should work together with charity activities for the benefits of those children in West China who are interested in football games and also for the development of local education. The first goal in today's game means to donate ten footballs to Xinjiang Soong Ching Ling Football School through CSCLF. There will be the second goal, the third goal, etc. etc …"

Liu believes "One football can bring a lot of joys to over 20 children." Therefore, he would continue to make efforts to have more footballs donated for children in the western areas of China.

On October 29, the "Nike Charity Match between North-South Stars 2006" was kicked off in Jinan for CSCLF. China Football Association and Nike Sports (China) Co. Ltd donated RMB 800,000 Yuan to CSCLF for the children in the western areas of China, especially for the promotion of football among youngsters. During the interval of the match, the donation ceremony was held. When Yu Guilin, vice chairman of the foundation accepted the cheque of the donation from Xie Yalong and Nan Yong, vice chairmen of China Football Association, and Wang Xiaoping, Chief Representative of Nike Sports (China), the audience burst into applause. In his speech of gratitude, Yu said, "Life with football is a joyful life while society with full of charity is a harmonious society. This charity match will help China football open up a new page and it will exert far-reaching significance on the development of China football and charity undertakings in China." This charity football match once again came into being after the last one 10 years ago. We believe that this kind of charity activities will help CSCLF have more approaches for its fund raising for its children's football program and other social welfare projects. However, Liu had done a great job to facilitate the charity activity, yet due to other business he couldn't attend the charity match in Jinan as he was busy with the coverage of the National Youth Football in India.

When we expressed our appreciation to him late, he simply said with a smile, "Not at all. It is what I should do, for China football and for CSCLF. Being a council member of the foundation, I always think I should do something for the foundation."

This is Liu Jianhong, the young council member of the foundation. We are touched and inspired. And we also sincerely wish that his passion and enthusiasm for charity activities will make his life and career more colorful and successful.