Nation's volunteers impress in roles around the globe(2)

2021-12-31 08:46:34China Daily Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

Sun Wei, a volunteer from Shanghai, worked as a basketball coach in Laos for seven months in 2017. (CHINA DAILY)

Technical help

In the Seychelles, China's assistance is aimed at helping that country resolve the problem of a lack of talent, Xu said, adding that volunteers have gone there to share advanced technology and experience.

Xu stressed that volunteers should focus more on doing their best to complete their work and should not exaggerate their roles.

"I believe that over time, a little help from us will bring some changes," she said.

Her views strike a chord with Sun Wei, a volunteer from Shanghai who worked as a basketball coach in Laos for seven months in 2017, sharing his expertise in training and tactics with teams in the Southeast Asian nation.

Sun's outstanding work teaching the Vientiane provincial team and the Laotian national youth team secured him a leading role in coaching the country's national men's squad.

After becoming chief coach of the men's team, he overcame a series of difficulties, including limited training facilities and also medical problems, helping the team defeat Myanmar at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.

It was the first time in 20 years that the Laotian men's basketball team had returned to regional competition-achieving its first victory and also improving its ranking with the International Basketball Federation, Sun said. "Such a result was beyond my expectations," he added.

People-to-people bonds

A shortage of drinking water was one of the problems faced during training, which Sun said was hard to imagine in any professional national team. He often bought water for the players, invited them out for meals to boost their nutritional intake, and also donated basketballs to the men's team.

At the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, he helped treat an injured player, massaging the athlete's knees for an hour.

"The players said no coach they worked with had done anything like this before. I was very moved, and they treated me like their big brother," Sun said, adding that the players helped him foster friendship, along with trust and happiness.

As a national team coach in Laos, Sun refused a salary from the country's basketball association, and before returning to China, he received a "No. 1" jersey from the national team as a gift.

"Volunteer service asks for nothing in return-something that cannot be measured by money," he said.

Sun's voluntary service was cited as an example of active people-to-people exchanges between China and Laos in a signed article written by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Laos in November 2017.

Sun said a sport such as basketball is a way of communication that crosses cultures and languages, adding that it helps bring people closer.

Yang, the overseas program head, said friendship between different people is key to sound state-to-state relations. The young Chinese volunteers are also individuals with free and open minds, and their daily contact with locals helps shape these people's positive views about China, he said.

Overseas service offers volunteers more opportunities to take part in international exchanges, Yang added.

International voluntary work also helps cultivate high-quality talent with a sense of social responsibility and international competitiveness, he said.


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