There was an exciting atmosphere at the Munrow sports centre, University of Birmingham, with a lot of applauding and cheering going on, as a basketball tournament got under way. However, it wasn’t just for pure sport that the crowds had gathered.
The Chinese Student and Scholar Association in Birmingham had arranged it’s debut basketball tournament, in the name of "Project Hope", which aims to collect money to build a library for a school in the Shanxi province in China and to help children who have dropped out of school in poverty-stricken areas.
The tournament was aimed at Chinese students attending university in Manchester, Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester and Birmingham.
The captain from the Nottingham team said: "It’s a big honor to come and join such a meaningful cause, as a student overseas, we should definitely give a hand to our country; there is no doubt we’re showing our support here."
|Litttle Chinese girl|
Birmingham University student Mr Xiao Long, Liang has been leading "Project Hope" in Birmingham since November 2005.
He thought about ways of raising money and finally decided on a basketball tournament.
After speaking to several organisations in China, it was decided that a school in the Shanxi Province should benefit from the event.
Birmingham’s Chinese community back the event
At the beginning it was difficult to reassure the Chinese community that the event was valid, and that the money would actually reach the community in China.
|Supporters watching the basketball|
However after they were told about the project and the objective to raise money for a library, they were then very willing to help and give their support.
Xiao Long was really pleased with the outcome of the tournament: "The entire donation from the event is enough to build a library; we estimated that we need around £700 - up to now, we can say that we've nearly meet our target."
Although Birmingham arranged a really fun and worthwhile event, the Birmingham basketball team were ‘pipped at the post’ by Nottingham. But all the teams enjoyed the day and the main thing was raising money for a good cuase.
Mr Xu a businessman from Manchester who helped organise and sponsor the Manchester team said that CSSA Birmingham had done a good job in organising the event, but in future he would like to see the whole community get involved and not just the Chinese community.
Written by Lei Liu.