Nike and China’s Ministry of Education hosted the first national Active Schools Innovation Award presentation at Beijing’s iconic Water Cube on July 23.
The ceremony celebrated 100 teachers (of the more than 1,000 who applied) who are most effectively and creatively transforming the culture of sport and physical activity in schools across China.
One teacher recognized at the ceremony was Lv Shao Wu, who brought football to students in the rural, mountainous area of Long Xi County in the southeast of Gan Su Province, out of his own passion. Lv was a timid child who came from a poor family, but gained confidence and joy through football. After suffering a knee injury, he realized he could still participate in his beloved sport by coaching kids. Lv convinced the school’s principal to allow him to start a football team, and rallied a group of teachers to help him turn a deserted field behind the school into a pitch. Then, he purchased training and game equipment out of his own pocket, and used online videos to learn how to be a coach. Lv believes football has helped motivate some of his students to study more and to do better in school and in life.
To celebrate and honor Lv’s passion and commitment for football in China, Cristiano Ronaldo surprised Lv by presenting his award and a pair of limited-edition CR7 Mercurial Campeões boots to him. Additionally, 49 pairs of these boots are being auctioned in partnership with Alibaba. Nike will match the proceeds, and the combined funds will be donated between to the China Education and Development Foundation, Nike’s Active Schools program and to build a new soccer pitch at Lv’s HeKou Primary School.
“I’m thrilled to be supporting PE teachers who are inspiring young athletes in China,” says Ronaldo. “The work they do is very important.”
Learn more about Lv Shao Wu's journey:
In addition to recognizing inspiring teachers like Lv, the ASIA ceremony builds on the existing multi-year partnership between Nike and China’s Ministry of Education, which coincides with a push in China to promote football, resulting in tens of thousands of fields and adding football-specific programs in a similar number of schools. Contributing to that effort, Nike created the first football-specific PE Primary School Curriculum to increase quality of coaching in schools, and trained more than 3,400 PE teachers in 16 cities across China in how to use football to make PE more fun and effective.
To continue to work toward its goal of getting 2 million kids moving by 2019, Nike will train 7,000 more teachers in how to deliver quality and engaging sports lessons. The company will also provide coaching and PE resources for more than 300 schools and work with school leagues in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou focusing on running, soccer and basketball.