Former Denver Bronco and Indianapolis Colts quarterback and future hall of famer Peyton Manning has been in China for the past few days helping to promote American football in that country. He has been meeting aspiring young players and spoke about the development of the game.
Coaching at a quarterback clinic in Beijing, Manning said there was great potential for football to succeed.
“I think once people can learn the rules, learn of the strategies and game planning and mental and cerebral part of football – once they learn that and appreciate that, I think they would have more of an interest in the game,” he said.
“I think there is a lot of potential for it, and getting more young people to play. It’s a great way to start and help grow that interest.”
China Arena Football League kicks off
By coincidence, Manning’s visit to China, coincides with kick off of the inaugural season of the China Arena Football League on Oct. 1 in Beijing and culminates in a “The China Bowl” final in Shanghai a month later.
In the historic first weekend of play, the Guangzhou Power will play the Qingdao Clipper in an afternoon match, while the Dalian Dragon Kings will battle the Shenzhen Naja in a night session at the Beijing LeTv Sports Center, originally known as the MasterCard Center.
On Sunday, the Beijing Lions will host the Shanghai Skywalkers at the same venue.
Originally held only in China’s sports universities, the league operate in the landmark sporting centers of six Chinese cities this year.
The six teams will play weekend matches first in Beijing, followed by Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. The China Bowl will be played in the first weekend of November at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center.
Manning has not just focused on football though. He did take the time to toboggan down the Great Wall of China!
Peyton Manning tobogganing down the Great Wall of China?