Feature: Football helps rural girls fulfill dreams in NW China
LANZHOU, China, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Divided into two teams, over 20 girls from No.4 High School of Jingyuan County in northwest China's Gansu Province are preparing to play a football match.
Nearly all students have returned to schools this September in China. As the COVID-19 epidemic eases and the new semester begins, girls in northwest China can return to their beloved football pitch again.
After a long, low whistle, the game began. "Strikers! Try running the channels!" 17-year-old midfielder Xie Jili shouted.
Xie and her teammates have two training sessions every day, one hour at 5:50am and two hours at 4pm.
Xie and her teammates want to enroll at universities on football scholarships.
"I love football and I want to engage in football-related work," says Xie, who won Gansu's 4th Middle School Sports Meeting championship.
The team was formed in 2015 by Gao Xiang, vice-principal of the Sports School of Jingyuan county.
The girls had irregular training time during last semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"At the beginning of this term, all girls worked very hard," Gao said, adding that nearly 30 girls from No.4 High School have gone to college on football scholarships since 2015, like 18-year-old Yang Wenxiao, who was admitted to Lanzhou University last month.
"My major is Journalism and communications," Yang said, adding that she also wants to be a sports writer if she has the chance.
There are nearly 30 female players at No.4 High School now. Today, besides Jingyuan County, women's football is booming in Lanzhou City, Jiayuguan City and elsewhere in Gansu.
"In future, we hope to help more girls fulfill their footballing dreams," said Wang Shirui, vice-principal of No.4 High School. Enditem