If you ask a foreigner who has never been to China orhave much connections with China how she thinks of sports in China, they wouldprobably tell you based on what they have seen in the Olympics Games orin the media. Yes, China has achieved great results winning medals at the gamesin this international sports platform in gymnastics, badminton, weight lifting,swimming, table-tennis, etc. But if we really think about it, what can weconclude? Chinese sportspeople seem to excel in individual sports.
Sports is influenced by the culture, educationsystem, economy, social and political structures of the country. With the onechild policy in China, it is not a surprise that we see it being reflected inthe sports world. However with the opening up of the country to the world, theBeijing Olympics in 2008, Yao Ming’s basketball career in the NBA, and theincreasing awareness among the public encouraging physical fitness for betterwell being and importance of team work in various aspects of a child’s life;things have dramatically changed today comparing to 30 years ago.
*029 XYZ Outdoor Basketball Activity
Looking at amateur women’s basketball in China tenyears ago and today, we have seen a huge increase in the number of participantsplaying this team sport for leisure. In 2004 when MELODY was founded, we didnot see many other similar women’s basketball organizations at the grassrootslevel in other cities in the country. Now we see so many of them everywhere inthe country. It is an amazing feeling because basketball is a team sport thatteaches us so many life lessons and has several benefits for us. Seeing it growat such a rapid rate makes us feel happy (we have more clubs to do basketballtrips and exchanges!).
*3v3 Basketball Tournament Organized by 029 XYZ in September, 2014
As mentioned in our post earlier this year, MELODY will be interviewing amateur women’s basketball clubs and teams within China this year. We hope to introduce our counterparts in other cities andprovide a platform for all female ballers to play basketball if they move,travel or return to their homes one day.
*029 XYZ’sFounder, Three
Today, MELODY would like to introduce our counterpartin Xi An; Xi An WB-XYZ Wei Zhi Shu Women’s Basketball Club (Short: 029 XYZ). Itwas started by a basketball enthusiast who created an online group whichgathered female ballers who play together in Rucker Park in Xi An. As she is nolonger based in Xi An, this group was then led by 029 XYZ’s founder, Three(Yang Hui Ru). With the increasing number of female ballers in Xi An spreadaround the city, Three felt the need to gather and organize every one together.On July 20, 2014, Three decided to form this group under the name Xi An WB-XYZWei Zhi Shu Women's Basketball Club.
Very soon after the club was formed, Three ledand organized Xi An’s first amateur women’s basketball tournament in September,2014. The tournament was a success gathering 40 teams of female ballers, with atotal of 200 participants. This is an astounding number of amateur femaleballers! Although this tournament was sponsored by a local NGO and mediacompany, 029 XYZ still had to limit the number of teams they could host due tothe limited funds available. Hey, what would happen if there was no funding limitation?! :)
With about fifteen members participating in theirweekly activities, 029 XYZ has over 90 members (members are between 14-32 yearsold with the majority working professionals) in their club. Members playoutdoors during the summer period and indoors during the winter period. Eachactivity usually lasts for three to four hours. If it rains, outdoor activitiesare usually canceled.
To be part of the club, one needs to contact theclub’s person in charge of new members and is required to participate in theiractivities often. There is no joining fee to play in 029 XYZ and all costs areshared among members.
Although Three is currently based in Zhejianginstead of Xi An because of her studies, she will continue to manage 029 XYZremotely. She hopes to keep developing the club and amateur women’s basketballin Xi An. A recent university graduate, Three first touched a basketball whenshe was fifteen. When asked how she fell in love with basketball, she pausedfor several moments and shared the following story with us. “It was one nightwhen I was in my last year in junior high school when I watched a show byHoopark. That episode was talking about Iverson. Iverson was in his career peakat the time. What I felt was the most valuable about him is that he is only4575px, but still managed to have a successful career with great achievements inthe NBA. This inspired me to play this team sport, and ever since, basketballhas been one of the most important things in my life.”
We would imagine if the same question is asked toany basketball lover, we probably won’t know what to say immediately. Likefalling in love with someone or something, we can’t explain love using words.But! We know it is definitely love for this sport that kept Three going with the management of 029 XYZ and playing basketball.
MELODY is glad to connect with 029 XYZ as we haveanother organization which we can exchange basketball experiences with in thefuture. Xi An, one of China’s best cities to visit!
To end this article, we’d like to share 029 XYZ’sslogan and goal for the future:
“We hope to gather more female ballers to join usand continue this journey together. We would like to provide a platform forwomen’s basketball at the grassroots level and for us to have league games with our counterparts together one day. Who Is Next?”
For more information about 029 XYZ, please referto the details below:
Sina Weibo: 西安WB-XYZ未知数女子篮球社
Club’s We Chat: 029XYZ未知数女子篮球社，XYZ-029
Contact: Three Yang; CP_3_0316 (We Chat), AKA-无死角Three (Sina Weibo),18268732873 (Mobile) firstname.lastname@example.org (E-mail)