Math teacher leading rural children to triumphs on football field

Xinhua, December 11, 2023
Adjust font size:

In this photo taken with a mobile phone, Zhu Xiaolong coaches students football at the Weifeng Central School in Huyi District of Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Nov. 29, 2023.(Xinhua/Sun Zhenghao)

In 2016, Zhu led the school team to participate in the inaugural school football league of Huyi District. Despite securing three consecutive victories, they faced a heartbreaking defeat in the crucial group match, ending their journey at the qualifying round. Tears were shed by all.

The following year, with unwavering determination, Zhu led his team back to the event and emerged victorious. As champions, they represented the district in the city-level league.

He vividly remembers the day of their final group match. "It was June 16 and we were playing amidst torrential rain." "Despite the adverse weather, our children fought until the last minute, ultimately defeating their opponents."

However, they were eliminated at the group stage. After the game, an emotional Zhu told his players, "It is good to win, but losing is also part of our growth. By playing football we become stronger both physically and mentally, which is the true essence of sports."

As Zhu and his club progressed together, their performance consistently improved. In 2020, they finished third in the group at the city-level league, and in 2021, they were ranked sixth among all teams in the city.

At the same time, he dedicated considerable effort to enhancing his mathematics teaching. Last year, he was recognized as a primary school math teaching expert in Xi'an.

"As a math teacher, I had never thought that I could go this far in football coaching," Zhu said. "No matter mathematics or football, my final goal was to help my students, so they could be healthy both physically and mentally, and enjoy happiness at school."

<  1  2  3