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Building Friendships through Volleyball: Southeast Asian Youths Unite in Tianjin

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Southeast Asian Youths Gather in Tianjin Volleyball to Build a Bridge of Friendship

China News Service, Tianjin, September 17th: The “City of Volleyball” 2023 Tianjin International Youth Beach Volleyball Invitational Tournament came to a thrilling end on September 17th as the Xinjiang first team emerged as the champions. The tournament, held from September 15th to September 17th in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area, saw the participation of 12 women’s beach volleyball teams from various countries including China, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and more. The event was aimed at promoting friendship and cultural exchange among young athletes.

In an exciting final match, the Xinjiang first team secured victory over the Thai team with a total score of 2:1, earning them the championship title. In another closely contested match, Tianjin Team 1 defeated Xinjiang Team 2, securing third place in the tournament.

The tournament provided an opportunity for young athletes to showcase their skills while also fostering bonds of friendship. For Hong Kong team members Chung Hui-wah and Zheng Yuyan, it was a memorable experience competing against high-level athletes like Bai Bing from the Tianjin team. Zheng Yuyan expressed her excitement and hoped that competing with such talented players would help improve their skills.

Volleyball is highly popular in Hong Kong, with numerous campuses having their own teams and various leagues for players of all ages. Chung Hui-wah and Zheng Yuyan have been playing volleyball for over a decade and aspire to represent Hong Kong on the international stage, much like the Chinese women’s volleyball team currently competing in the Paris Olympic Women’s Volleyball Qualifying Tournament.

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Teams from different countries also enjoyed the opportunity to interact and communicate with one another. Despite language barriers, players found ways to connect and understand each other through the help of translation software. The Thai team leader, Tanarattha Udomchavee, praised the hospitality of the Chinese and other teams, stating that the players were happy to communicate despite the language differences.

Xia Chuhong, the deputy coach of the Singapore team, highlighted the joy and learning experience for their players by competing with athletes from different countries. Though Singapore lacks professional volleyball players, the team members engage in volleyball activities in their free time, demonstrating their passion for the sport.

Off the field, the Malaysian team members, Maegan and Yap, exchanged social accounts with their new friends, expressing their admiration for Chinese culture and their plans to explore Tianjin’s museums and learn about different marine civilizations.

The Chinese sand volleyball girls demonstrated their dedication and sportsmanship, aiming to win each match as a show of respect for their opponents and the game. Bai Bing, a player from the Tianjin team, expressed her desire to introduce her fellow competitors to the beautiful scenery and cultural atmosphere of Tianjin, also known as the “City of Volleyball.” The Xinjiang players, Dilinar and Dong Jindi, extended invitations to the athletes to visit Xinjiang, which boasts unique beaches and local specialties.

Although the tournament was brief, the bonds formed among the players will continue to grow. Tanarattha Udomchavee, the Thai team leader, plans to share the knowledge and experience gained from the competition with domestic players back in Thailand. She believes that despite different cultures, volleyball serves as a common language that unites players from different backgrounds.

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The “City of Volleyball” 2023 Tianjin International Youth Beach Volleyball Invitational Tournament not only showcased the talents of young athletes but also served as a platform for cultural exchange and friendship building. The event concluded with a strong message of unity and camaraderie among participants from different countries.

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