Bamboo Goalposts: One Man's Quest to Teach the People's Republic of China to Love Football

Bamboo Goalposts: One Man's Quest to Teach the People's Republic of China to Love Football✴ Bamboo Goalposts: One Man's Quest to Teach the People's Republic of China to Love Football Epub ✷ Author Rowan Simons – More than two decades ago Rowan Simons moved to China and soon after he began working to expose the country to the social and health benefits of amateur soccer As he soon learned this was no easy task More than One Man's MOBI ò two decades ago Rowan Simons moved to China and Bamboo Goalposts: MOBI :¿ soon after he began working to expose the country to the social Goalposts: One Man's PDF/EPUB è and health benefits of amateur soccer As he soon learned this was Goalposts: One Man's Quest to PDF \ no easy task especially in a country where it is illegal for than people to congregate for the purposes of a recreational sporting activity In this humorous and affectionate account Rowan recalls the various successes and failures of his efforts to encourage his adopted country to embrace the beautiful game and depicts contemporary Chinese culture in a clear and engaging light Despite various setbacks Rowan managed to build a playing field and clubhouses and currently runs Club Goalposts: One Man's Quest to PDF \ Football a steadily growing amateur league. This has been sat on my shelf for ages so thought I'd give it a goMixed feelings on this It's a personal story on the author's attempts to help China engage with football at a grassroots level The bits that were actually about that were really interesting The rest of it not so much Possibly me being a little harsh as this is supposed to be a personal account but I wasn't all that interested in the earlier parts describing his initial adventures into China I wanted to get the chapters about amusing trips with his parents out of the way so I could hear about building the football pitch I've long wondered why the Chinese national men's soccerfootball team hasn't had anywhere near the success as their women's suad Many of the ingredients appear to be there large sports infrastructure huge talent pool a sport that doesn't favor a particular body type and generally strong team spirit Well this is a book that attempts to answer that uestion and mostly does a pretty good job of itSimons is an Englishman who came to China as a university student in the late '80s fell in love with the country and hustled his way into a position to return and make a life there He combined a few contacts in sports promotion and media with his Chinese language skills and an entrepreneurial spirit to build a multifaceted career in the just developing Chinese television market Be warned it takes a good 100 pages of his backstory before the soccer content really gets going But that's OK because his stories about being a Westerner in Beijing when Westerners were relatively scarce are well told They're also en excellent reminder of the rapidity of China's growth and opening to the outside that's happened in the last 20 years Indeed probably the best part of the book are Simons' eyewitness accounts the Tienanmen Suare protests and the bloody responseThe latter 23 of the book cover the choppy and often corrupt history of modern Chinese soccer both at the national and and club level along with the story of his own efforts to start an English style amateur football cluband all the logistical financial and bureaucratic obstacles that faced Simons lays the lion's share of the blame for the pathetic state of Chinese pro and national soccer at the door of the central government The Chinese sports model has always been a top down approach with central control seeking to identify the elite athletic talent and directing all resources toward that elite However by never developing any kind of grassroots youth and amateur club system or allowing the civic space for one to develop on its own the authorities have severely limited both the spread and appeal of the gameSimons also identifies a problem with how the outside soccer world has interacted with China Plenty of foreign clubs have come to China on tours and many have tried to establish some kind of semi permanent presence but all have failed Instead he suggests that entire leagues need to come to China in a coordinated effort an approach that has worked wonders in other sports such as the NBA's effort to popularize basketball and the NFL's initial efforts to raise interest in American football Unfortunately with all the attention he gives to structural and bureaucratic elements he never provides any interactions with players or coaches from the Chinese system It's a large missed opportunity since presumably some of the foreign ex coaches would have plenty to say about what's wrong and some players might be willing to speak off the recordAs the time frame of the book moves closer to the 2008 Olympics Simons realizes this is his best chance to influence the development of the beautiful game in China And in fact near the end it is revealed that this book served as one of his main outlets for critiuing the Chinese system and is clearly meant to spark internal debate and changes The problem is that there is thus no epilogue about whether or not his critiues have had any impact on the Chinese football authorities So the book ends up being this fairly interesting journey building up to a big moment and then it just ends abruptly Still it engaged me enough as a soccer fan to want to seek out further information about Chinese soccer and how it develops over the coming years Slightly condsending to the Chinese Some of the stereotyping comments rung true Not good for reading before work When it comes to football I'm in agreement with the great Bill Shankly when he said Football is not a matter of life and death it's far important than that When it comes to China my knowledge is limited to what I've seen on the TV recently about the earthuake the Olympics and the protests; vague memories of Tiananmen Suare and a love of the cuisine or at least the version that comes from my local takeaway Like many in the Western world I have no concept of what life is truly like in ChinaAfter an enjoyable have football will travel opening telling of Rowan's encounters with South America we then hear about how he came to be in China in the first place and his first attempts to play football while he was there Having got there and decided to stay he attempts to build his career his life and the game of football in ChinaThe opening part made me think of one of Tony Hawks' travel books as Simons writes with a similar relaxed feel that makes you think he's just one of your mates in the pub Given that he's essentially talking about football and a holiday this may not be so far from the truth This light tone continues as he recounts his days as a student in China and I was starting to feel that this was going to be something akin to Tony Hawks Round Ireland With a Fridge except with a footballOnce he becomes involved in living and working in China the tone becomes a lot serious especially as he saw the events of Tiananmen Suare first hand although even these sections are easy to read if less pleasant Part of this is due to the Chinese way of life being so different to the English one that he's not just having to tell us about his life he's almost having to explain it This is made easier by the fact that he is trying to live a life as close to the one he's used to as he can; it's just that many of the things he wants to have or do aren't nearly so easyThe best example of this is how he recounts his conversations Much like everything else the Chinese language seems to involve saying things than once to get the point across To show how it works Simons uses Chinese sentence construction when reporting on conversations he's had in Chinese which can be a little confusing but also uite amusing Strangely enough although it does take some getting used to once you've become accustomed to seeing passages written in this way it doesn't become a barrier to the flow of the book as I expected it would early onAs readable as this book is Simons' life revolves around football and this is the main focus of the book Admittedly he does make brief forays into his personal life but apart from an early visit from his parents and a female friend he takes on a nightmare trip on several Chinese buses these are freuently little than passing mentions From my perspective this was not necessarily a bad thing but anyone who is less of a football fan might have welcomed the distractionDespite the book helping to introduce a Chinese way of life it is unmistakably a football book The sport is Simons' obsession; helping him make new friends providing him with entertainment exercise and a purpose in life With this much of his attention devoted to the game it does mean that virtually everything he does and therefore every aspect of the book revolves around football in some way He works mostly as a football journalist and most of his spare time is spent trying to improve the football system within China and talking about the system as it isThis means that those without my interest in football may become bored There isn't enough focus elsewhere to keep the casual reader interested as when there is a mention about how things are done in China it's mostly in the context of how difficult that makes playing the game or setting up a team For this reason even football fans may become bored because whilst the book is about football there is very little football actually taking place The one saving grace for the fan is that there are mentions of touring teams from England and Spain coming to China and his time reporting on World Cup and FA Cup football so there is a little familiar groundIn the end however this is for people with a deep love of the game rather than those who watch it on TV down the pub and shout at the screen so you may prefer to buy a couple of pints or a fortnight of Sky Sports However this will be an ideal book for anyone who has had their head in their hands at any decision made by the English Football Association as it shows us that no matter how bad they are things could be worse This does limit the scope of appeal a fair amount as it falls a little between the obvious audiences of the average football fan and the person looking to know about China As a good read for someone interested in sports books in general however this is a triumph and as that is what I am I thoroughly enjoyed itThis review may also appear in whole or in part under my name at any or all of wwwciaocouk wwwthebookbagcouk wwwgoodreadscom wwwcouk and wwwdooyoocouk Why is Chinese soccer so bad? As with so many things China can credibly claim to have created the sport via the ancient game cuju Moreover Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping was a legendary fan of the game staging his third political comeback at a Beijing football match Yet among 208 FIFA members the PRC currently ranks 77th sandwiched between tiny Latvia whose population is 600 times smaller poverty stricken Malawi whose economy is 1000 times smaller In this fascinating book Rowan Simons aka Luo Wen reflecting his serious guanxi addresses the sorry state of Chinese football and by extension what it reveals about contemporary Chinese culture society By the end of this book you'll understand why the PRC side will probably not ualify for another World Cup until FIFA awards the 2026 tournament to China Interesting book on the developing football culture in China and Rowan's efforts to increase the exposure of grassroots football A lot of the early stages of the book are to do with Rowan's introduction to China and the political situation there as well as his travels and meetings with other foreigners living in China and Chinese people passionate for footballAs Rowan becomes involved with the media and ClubFootball he provides an interesting inside view on how the Government and CFA works in relation to the development of football in China Interesting read and concept based on how football started in China Amusing and educational about life in China

Bamboo Goalposts: One Man's Quest to Teach the People's
  • Hardcover
  • 386 pages
  • Bamboo Goalposts: One Man's Quest to Teach the People's Republic of China to Love Football
  • Rowan Simons
  • English
  • 27 September 2014
  • 9780230703728