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Confucius Institute


“Continuing the Path of Friendship, Table Tennis Competition and Exhibition Match” hosted by The Confucius Institute
Continuing the Path of Friendship,Table Tennis Competition and Exhibition Match
hosted by
he Confucius Institute
On the afternoon of the 21st of April, the Confucius Institute (CI) and the Cave Hill Campus Academy of Sport , hosted a friendly exhibition match entitled “Continuing the Path of Friendship, Table Tennis Competition and Exhibition Match, in association with the Barbados Table Tennis Association (BTTA). The event commemorated the 8th anniversary of the establishment of the CI in Barbados and is also one in a series of celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.

The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Frederick Ochieng’-Odhiambo, the  Ambassador of China to Barbados, H.E. Yan Xiusheng, Charge d’Affaires of the Brazilian Embassy in Barbados, Carlos Kessel and former Barbados Ambassador to China, Senator Chelston Brathwaite and his wife Rosanna Brathwaite were among the many special guests invited to attend this event. The guests who participated in the event also included, Dr. Kevin Grant, Operations Manager, of the Academy of Sport, Ms. Marguerita Felix, President of the Barbados Table Tennis Association, and Mr. Wu Cong, the China-Aid Barbados table tennis coach. Nearly sixty (60) persons including some athletes of the Barbados national team, as well as students and teachers of the Confucius Institute also attended the event.
Local Co-Director of the Confucius Institute in Barbados, Mr. Bulbulia delivered remarks, stating that as China's national sport, table tennis is of great significance, “China's assistance to Barbadian table tennis has a history of 44 years, and has become a testament to the growing closeness between the two countries”. The Confucius Institute especially held a table tennis exhibition match to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the establishment of the Confucius Institute.

In his speech, Ambassador Yan Xiusheng said that the from arrival of the first Chinese coach Mr. Yang Ying in 1979, to the second coach, Mr. Wu Cong 44 years later, as the theme of the event reveals, the friendship between the two peoples of China and Barbados has continued. Table tennis has become a symbol of friendly exchanges between China and Barbados.
Ambassador Yan said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Barbados 46 years ago, bilateral relations have maintained a positive developmental momentum. The mutual trust between the two countries has been continuously deepened, and cooperation in the fields of economics, trade, agriculture, culture, education, health, and sports has achieved fruitful results. The Confucius Institute has built a bridge of cultural exchanges between China and Barbados and has made important contributions to enhancing the friendship between the two peoples. This table tennis exhibition match is conducive to promoting mutual understanding between the two peoples and adding a new “boost” to Barbados- China friendship. Ambassador Yan expressed his gratitude to the Confucius Institute, The University of the West Indies at Cave Hill and everyone who made the competition possible as they contributed to the shared developmental destiny to the people of the country.
Frederick Ochieng’-Odhiambo delivered a speech on behalf of the Principal (Clive Landis), congratulating the Confucius Institute on its eighth anniversary and looking forward to the next table tennis competition.
Dr. Kevin Grant, Business Director of the School of Physical Education of Cave Hill Campus in his remarks expressed his pleasure to co-host the event with the Confucius Institute to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the establishment of the Confucius Institute and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Cave Hill Campus.
Ms. Marguerita Felix, President of the Barbados Table Tennis Association, also delivered a speech in which she thanked the Chinese government for its support of sports in Barbados, as well as praised Coach Wu Cong for his hard work in helping the Barbadian table tennis team to achieve good results.
In his speech, Mr. Wu Cong, the Chinese foreign aid coach, expressed his appreciation for the hard training spirit of the Barbadian players. He informed every one of the recent good results of the Barbadian table tennis players and wished continued positive growth to the Confucius Institute.
This was followed by a playing of a short promotional video entitled “The Legend continues”, which had been specially commissioned for this event.
In 1979, only two years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Barbados, Mr. Yang Ying, the first China-Aid table tennis coach posted to Barbados, was invited to serve as the coach of the national team in Barbados.  His strong coaching produced batch after batch of outstanding athletes and coaches; the techniques shared by Mr. Yang Ying still affects the table tennis trajectory of Barbados to this very day. Forty- four years later, Mr. Wu Cong, the second foreign aid coach, has now continued the work of coach Yang. The arrival of Coach Wu Cong has had a positive impact on the performance of the players. In competition, the Barbados national team won the third place in the men's team. The video of the Confucius Institute contains a series of interviews that present the legendary deeds of Coach Yang Ying in Barbados 44 years ago, and the continuation of Mr. Wu Cong, the second coach who assisted Barbados.

After more than a month of searching, Dr. Li the CI Chinese Co-Director finally got in touch with Coach Yang Ying. The now ninety-year-old Coach Yang Ying was very excited. He said that after so many years, the people of Barbados still remembered him and managed to find him. He felt very happy. Coach Yang Ying quickly sent a letter to the Confucius Institute and recorded a video. He also wrote a poem expressing his love for table tennis, his longing for the Barbados players, and the friendship between the two countries.
Legend Continues
Hu Wei, a Chinese teacher from the Confucius Institute, introduced the competition rules and relevant information to the contestants. The competition consisted of four games: elementary, intermediate, advanced, and coach demonstration. Ms. Angela Reid and Mr. Timothy Nicholls from the Barbados Table Tennis Association acted as referee and commentator respectively.
 A total of 8 students from the Confucius Institute, members of the Barbados national team, teachers from the Cave Hill branch, and alumni representatives participated in the 9 rounds of competition at the primary, intermediate, and advanced levels. Timothy's wonderful commentary added a lot of color to the game.
In the final demonstration match, the table tennis serving, putting, cutting, and spiking skills of coach Wu Cong and the local coach resulted in thunderous applause from the audience. With booming cheers of "One more game, one more game!", from the commentator and the audience alike, the exhibition game entered its second match. The audience watched on with baited breath as they stared intently at the flying ball. The wonderful performances of the two coaches brought everyone the greatest enjoyment in their artistry.
Dr. Li Renyan, the Chinese director of the Confucius Institute, delivered a closing speech. She thanked all the guests for their participation as well as the team members for their wonderful performances. She expressed the wish for the legend of China-Barbados table tennis to continue and the friendship between China and Barbados to carry on into the future.