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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Budding Writers
Interactive internationalism thru sport (I)
    2017-November-15  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

The history of sports arguably dates back thousands of years, with Chinese playing a type of soccer named Tsu Chu and Egyptians wrestling and weightlifting, predating the first recorded Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece in 776 B.C.

In modern times, sports teams of all levels, from intramural to professional, are comprised of players from around the globe. Through sport, I have been able to facilitate friendly competition and language development, as well as provide a bridge for internationalism and friendship locally.

In an effort to get to know my students outside of class and to promote true international relationships, I organized volleyball games last year for several reasons.

First, the basic skills of the sport can easily be learned by anyone through a short lesson. Second, the size of the court is ideal for a small group to both play and communicate throughout practice and playing simultaneously. Third, it is a fun international sport that many Chinese students have had limited exposure to, with a requirement of simply hitting the ball on their forearm 100 consecutive times in order to pass a high school physical education examination. Therefore, volleyball was the answer to promoting a collective range of soft skills needed in the world today.

As it was promoted during my university English class as a volleyball date for fun with classmates on a weekend evening and not mandatory, I was unsure of the attendance, level of interest, skill-set of the students, or even availability of a court, especially considering the SUSTEC has dozens of table-tennis tables and badminton courts but only one indoor and one outdoor volleyball courts. As the date arrived, as well as on the subsequent ones, students cautiously showed up with comments of concern, ranging from “I have never played before” to “I’m scared.”

However, as attendance was strong, we first recapped the volunteer instructional presentation given in class previously. Grouped into two circles of eight to 10 people each, we practiced volleying the ball with the goal of hitting it 10 successive times. Controlling the ball and hitting it up in the air to a partner seemed to be most challenging but once that goal was reached, I gave a tutorial on a novice underhand serve. Each student practiced serving the ball from one end of the court while myself and another student retrieved the balls from the other side. In about half an hour, most students gained enough knowledge and skills to play a fun game.

In the United States, the usual system of picking teams is to appoint two captains, and each captain, one by one, chooses a player to join his/her team. As the two captains expand their teams, the pool of candidates dwindles to only a handful of choices.

The U.S. process of picking teams is flawed since it favors tall, strong and athletic bodies while leaving a few smaller students standing idly by and creating feelings of inferiority. However, this is part of the U.S. culture so I decided to be the last one available for selection. With the basic skill-set established and teams chosen, we reviewed the procedures of rotation and scoring. Soon, the first ball was served.

As novices, two or three attempts for a successful serve were allowed in order to create a dynamic game of volleyball. Once the play began, most students realized that hitting the ball up while controlling it was not only difficult but also painful on the forearms. Words like “ouch” and “Oh, it hurts” were common. Additionally, words of encouragement were constant as we called out each others’ names and cheered on our teammates.

During a game, you would hear clapping and “C’mon!” followed by a name. “C’mon Jack,” I would say. Many students who did not know Jack beforehand, now know him plus his English name.

The first game enabled each player to have a grasp of his/her volleyball ability as well as an understanding of teamwork with others who may only be seen in the classroom for English class.

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