China Braces For College Kickoff

With China’s second-ever intercollegiate Arena-style football tournament about to be held in Wuhan, many of the coaches and CAFL personnel have been busy preparing through the weekend.

“A full arena-style artificial field surface and boundary system needed to be installed here, as arena football has never been played here before.” said CAFL Director of Operations Ken Bozarth.

China - CAFL - Wuhan

The city of Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, and with 11 million residents, the most populous city in central China. Wuhan sits along the beautiful Yangtze and Han Rivers, about 700 miles southwest of Beijing.

It is also home to Wuhan Sports University, since 2013, one of the original six Sports Universities to institute arena-football programs with the founding support of The China Arena Football League (CAFL) which will likely look to these schools for many of their Chinese players when the CAFL pro league debuts a year from now in six mainland China cities.

To help move closer to the goal of developing China’s rich crop of young athletes into elite US-style football players, the CAFL is bringing some of America’s top football coaches to Wuhan this week.

China - CAFL - preparations crew

Pictured left to right are:

* Darrick Branch, a former Arena Football League standout wide receiver, who helped coach and select
the original rosters on display this week.

* Ken Bozarth, CAFL Director of Operations. His team designed and installed the playing surface, and special Arena-football “rebound nets” and goal posts to be used inside the Guangu Gym/arena.

* Ed Wang. Ed played in the National Football League and is famous throughout China as the first native Chinese player in the NFL. An All-ACC offensive tackle at Virginia Tech, Ed now works full time for the CAFL out of the Beijing based league office.

* Derrick Stingley. Currently the defensive coordinator of the powerful Philadelphia Soul franchise of the AFL, Stingley brings valuable expertise and coaching to the young Chinese players and officials.

* (Not pictured) Phil Bogle. Phil is the general manager of the Philadelphia Soul and is making his second trip to China to help coach and instruct. Phil is a former AFL all-star offensive lineman who played in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers.

The China Arena Football League will be showcased in Guanggu Gymnasium at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province, from Nov 3-7.

Last year’s event was held at Beijing’s Chaoyang Sports Center, following on the heels of an All-Star exhibition between the US-based Arena Football League East-West squads, and broadcast on China national TV by BTV, and LTMedia.

*LTM (Lou Tilley Media) is on site in Wuhan for the tournament this week. Look for Lou Tilley’s stories and insights as well as multi-media from the LTM video team who are on site to capture the content of the evolving story of the CAFL.

Courtesy CAFL website.

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