Men's basketball set for goodwill trip to China
For the second time in three years, the Trinity Western men’s basketball team will embark upon a goodwill trip to China, Oct. 11-20, where it will represent the University on the court in an effort to help further both TWU’s engagement and global profile abroad.
Much like the Spartans trip to China in 2011, the team will get a chance to play four different games in four northern Chinese cities, including against Wuhan University of Technology, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tsinghua University and a local Tianjin professional team.
The trip will be an opportunity to continue to build connections and strengthen relationships with both the local universities and governments as TWU looks to expand its global presence and its brand in Asia. All told, the team will visit the cities of Wuhan, Tianjin, Beijing and Shanghai, which have a combined population of approximately 60 million.
With the popularity of basketball in China, the men’s team has a valuable ability to market TWU, brand success and leverage a process of branding by association, which, in turn, will elevate positive exposure for the University.
“Sport not only bridges cultural divides, it also provides an opportunity to showcase TWU’s quality and distinction as a university that invests in student impact and global engagement,” said Phil Laird, TWU Associate Provost.
Trinity Western has been working with universities in China for nearly 20 years, dating back to 1995. For the past 11 years, TWU has had an agreement to provide education in Canadian teaching styles to visiting teachers from Tianjin. Since 2002, over 100 teachers from Tianjin have gone through the program, which has had a significant impact on the teaching of education in Tianjin. This past January, TWU worked with the City of Wuhan to begin a similar visiting teachers program and the first group of teachers arrived in Langley in late September.
Over the past year and half, TWU has also worked to take over the only foreign delivered MBA program in Tianjin. The program, which is being facilitated at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, began in 1987 with a connection to Oklahoma City University. Now, with this latest move, TWU has taken over the delivery of the program. The official launch of the TWU Great Wall MBA program and opening ceremonies will take place on October 17, while the Spartans are in Tianjin.
The men’s basketball team will also be in China for the opening ceremonies of the visiting teachers program in Wuhan on October 14.
While the trip will certainly develop TWU’s profile as a global university, it will also be an opportunity for a fresh-faced Spartans side to bond as a team and build towards their 2013-14 season.
“I think travelling together and spending time in adverse situations will help us in our ability to rely on each other’s strengths,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “We’re in a stage of trying to form this team and this trip is vital for us to become a more cohesive unit.
“We felt the competition last time we went to China was strong. For us right now, we just need game experience. We need to run through our sets and then see how things work and this trip gives us a chance to work towards addressing any issues we have before we get into league play.”
The trip will officially launch with a game Oct. 11 against the Seattle Mountaineers at the Richmond Oval at 7:30 p.m. The game is intended to further promote TWU’s Richmond campus, which holds its classes at the Richmond Oval. The team will leave for China immediately after its game against Seattle.
There is a limited supply of complimentary tickets for the Oct. 11 game. Call 604-513-2067 or visit the event site to reserve your tickets.
The last time TWU went to China, in 2011, the Spartans men’s basketball team earned three wins and one tie in their four-game exhibition series.
That year, TWU secured China’s national broadcaster to come to Canada and film the TWU campus and then follow the men’s basketball team throughout the tour in Asia. The film crew put together a documentary on TWU education, which aired on national television in China. As a result, as least in part, enrolment of Chinese students at TWU increased by more than 20 per cent from 2011 to 2012.
This is the third trip to China the Spartans have been involved in as the women’s volleyball team also went on a goodwill trip in 2007.