Tuesday, July 22
We have been taken very good care of so far here in Beijing. For the coaching staff and referee today has consisted of meetings with various members of the administrative board to gain a further understanding of the tournament itself, as well as the layout for the coming week. The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) have been very welcoming and are honored to be hosting their first American team here at the Beijing Cup. They see it as the beginning of a partnership and would much like to travel to the US with a team in coming years.
The players themselves have taken to two training sessions today, a light session in the morning to blow out all the cobwebs of travel with myself and one full session this evening at the fantastic facilities, where all the games will be held. They have also been out of the University facility for the first time to experience some of the day to day life in Beijing. The trip to the local supermarket actually needed permission from the governing commission, as with any time we wish to leave the facility to ensure only members of each teams Roster is on the facility. We walked through the local streets of the Haidain District stopping along the way.
They have also started to experience some star treatment with locals approaching players to talk and take photos. Whilst the local news station will be filming a documentary based around the boys experience, including footage of practices, games, interviews and interactions with select Chinese teams. The crew sat in on today’s training and also caught a quick interview with players Charles Cadena and Jack Lowe.
This evening the players and coaches will attend a full welcome meeting with all teams in both age groups of the tournament as part of the cultural learning experience.
All players are championing through with a touch of jet lag and a lack of sleep starting to kick in. All will rest well tonight in preparation of the grand opening ceremony and first round of games on Wednesday.