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Chinese children learn teamwork, dedication and respect for animals

18 April 2018

Youth football tournament in Chengdu brings animal welfare message to thousands of youngsters and their families.

April marked the beginning of the Chengdu Youth Football League, with many of the 3,000 young players taking part posing for pictures alongside moon bear mascot Moonie.

The tournament has strong government backing, being hosted by the Chengdu Sport Bureau, the Chengdu Education Bureau and the Chengdu Football Association.

Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“Football is huge in China right now and is the perfect vehicle for engaging young people with positive messages about our relationship with animals.

“Through this year’s tournament, respect for life and an awareness of the plight of moon bears will reach tens of thousands of people – many of whom will go on as advocates to help bears, dogs and cats in their communities.”

The league will run from April to September with 160 teams from more than 100 schools across Chengdu city taking part.

The league’s organisers expect the event to expand over the next few years to include a further 300 schools in Chengdu and reach an astounding potential audience of up to 6 million people.

In 2015, China’s President Xi Jinping started the Football Reform Plan which aims to make China a competitive force in international football within a generation.

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Jill said:

“Clearly the government is serious about developing football and is eager that this development goes hand in hand with positive values. That our message of respect for animals and standing up to cruelty has been chosen to stand front of place in this regard is a real endorsement for our work.”

Promotion of Animals Asia’s involvement in the tournament appeared on websites, newspapers, television and brochures, while educational presentations on animal welfare will be given in schools across the city.

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