Sports: American football gaining popularity in China

(From AP)

The scene could be from any U.S. suburb: two teams of youngsters in football helmets, cleats and pads; referees in pinstripes; parents snapping photos and cheering from the sidelines. But the clipboard-toting coaches call out plays in Chinese and the field is at a park in Beijing.

Coach Wes de Kirby, left, gives last-minute instructions to player Liu Jiayou, 9, right, just before the start of their American football game in Beijing

Coach Wes de Kirby, left, gives last-minute instructions to player Liu Jiayou, 9, right, just before the start of their American football game in Beijing

 China’s capital might seem an unlikely place to find American football, but interest among China’s youth is growing, according to Shen Yu, marketing director for Great Stone Gridiron. The private football club was Beijing’s first when it was founded three years ago. Around 500 children participate, including about 150 in tackle football programs.Read More


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