Interview with host of the 7th Int'l Shanghai Universities Dragon Boat Race
Updated: 2014-06-11

The Seventh International Students' Dragon Boat Race of Universities in Shanghai was held at East China University of Science and Technology. On the actual day, the vice-president of the College of Education of ECUST, Jin Weiguo, spoke with the Chinadaily website and described the event background, its unique characteristics, and the development strategy of the race.

The following is part of the interview conducted by chinadaily.com.cn.

Q: Mr. Vice-president, would you give a brief introduction about this year’s contest?

A: Certainly. This is by far the biggest dragon boat race ever carried out and a total of 26 colleges are participating in it. Additionally, Shanghai Business School and Shanghai University of Political Science and Law have formed a joint team for the game.

Q:We have noticed that there are hundreds of international players here; are they okay playing with this Chinese traditional sport?

A: As an experienced host on seven consecutive occasions, we have fully prepared a sports place for every team so they can arrange pre-game training. In addition, some schools also set their own professional courses for these international athletes; there should be no doubt about their professional ability to play.

Q: What is the most exciting aspect of today’s race?

A: Personally, I would say it is the cross-cultural communication. According to official statistics, the competition involved hundreds of overseas students from more than 70 countries.

Apart from the professional rowing, all 25 school teams have a mixed-gender and mixed-nationalities character.

Q: Some people online are comparing the Dragon Boat competition to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. What do you think of that?

A: Well, to be completely honest, it is quite hard to compare those different types of sports.

From my point of view, the western rowing game is likely to focus on the competitive race and those teams have to train for years to achieve the necessary strength and control over their sports to compete in the game.

However, the ultimate objective of the dragon boat competition is promoting Chinese culture to foreigners, and allowing more overseas students to experience our traditional events such as the Dragon Boat Festival.

In fact, in the case of the Shanghai dragon boat race, it is a fair event for everyone to get involved in since no previous experience is required. Whether you are a skilled aquatic player or a fresh rookie, the game welcomes participants from all around the world.

Q: The International Students' Dragon Boat Race of the Universities in Shanghai has been held for seven consecutive years. What are your future plans with regards to it?

A: As the host of the game, I am so glad to hear the event is enjoyed by many foreign students. We are striving to expand it and try to make this activity become a communication platform among the Shanghai universities in the future.

We are considering inviting more universities from nearby provinces to join next year, and we have ambitions to bring the dragon boat game to the Yangtze River Delta region which would make a great contribution to cultural communication.

Edited by Zhang Yuchen and Brian Salter

 

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