China’s Interest In American Football Exploding From The Ground Up

The future of American football in China looks promising.

Last year China was ranked by ESPN and AFI as among the top 10 countries in the world where football is thriving . The game is played at multiple levels, with Arena, semi-pro and university leagues all growing . The game is growing at the grassroots level too. This past weekend the Shanghai Sea Dragons hosted The Great Stone GridIron All-Stars in the first Annual U-12 Bowl Game .

Founded in 2011, the Sea Dragons are the oldest youth American football program in China. The program has a mix of Chinese and foreign children. The Great Stone Gridiron Youth American Football Club was founded in 2012 and currently has 6,000 (!) kids practicing in Beijing and Shanghai .

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The game started with GSG taking a surprising 7-0 lead on a run by #99 Ethan, who also was the GSG’s leading tackler.

As the game progressed the Sea Dragons answered with three scores , taking the 20-7 lead to secure the win.

Both teams demonstrated good sportsmanship and played fundamentally sound football. Players, parents and coaches praised the initiative and the chance to play teams from outside of the organization . The game was a first step towards establishing a cooperation between the two Clubs .

Weslyn de Kirby, the head coach of the GSG All-Stars, highlighted the fact that his team remained competitive throughout the whole game and this loss will serve as extra motivation going forward.

Wojciech Andrzejczak

Wojciech “Voyt” Andrzejczak. Head Coach of Kozly Poznan and President of the New England Patriots Polska fan club. He recently worked with Jim Criner’s ACTA in China, coached US National Football Team and Clifton Mustangs (NJ) . His articles have been published in AFCA Summer Manual and leading websites .

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