UEL footballers strengthen ties with Beijing students during special London visit
- Credit: Archant
The University of East London strengthened its partnership with China’s Beijing Sports University as footballers were hosted for a week of fixtures, coaching sessions and sightseeing.
The trip included closely fought matches between male and female students, with UEL’s women coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with their visitors.
Both UEL goals were scored by England under-19 star Rinsola Babajide, who is expected to be selected for the European Under-19 championships in Northern Ireland this summer.
The UEL men went one better as they held off a fightback from BSU to win 2-1 with goals from Ellis Brittan and Michael Ogboin.
BSU, the largest specialist sports university in the world, also gave back to the east London community when its players and coaches held a football coaching session for students at Kingsford Community School in Beckton.
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The Chinese students had time to visit some of London’s biggest sporting venues – including the London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Emirates Stadium – and iconic landmarks such as the House of Lords and Buckingham Palace.
The trip was another step forward in the developing relationship between UEL and BSU, which was cemented last year by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions.
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Under the agreement, UEL and BSU will explore ways of establishing student and staff exchanges in the field of sport and related disciplines, working together on joint projects and promoting the development of Chinese language and cultural education at UEL.
John White, UEL’s Director of Sport, was delighted to welcome BSU for the week and is already looking forward to seeing how the partnership progresses further.
“It was great to have Beijing Sport University visit us, view our world-class facilities and see how we’ve become one of the leading universities for sport in London,” said White.
“We hope they enjoyed their experiences in London and that this is just another part of an already flourishing relationship between the two institutions.”
UEL enjoyed a record-breaking season this year, rising to 42nd in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) table and was ranked 18th in the UK for individual BUCS points.