Sequel to China’s first variety show focusing on teenagers’ football training to be launched
Published: Nov 29, 2022 01:45 PM

Photo: BRTV

Photo: BRTV

The second season of China's first variety show about Chinese teenagers' enthusiasm for football,U-Ball, will be launched on TV and online streaming platforms from Tuesday, amid the ongoing 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

With the World Cup in full swing, football has become one of the hottest topics on Chinese social media. The release of the variety show focusing on young Chinese football lovers has attracted a lot of attention.

After selection around the country for nearly a year, 32 teenagers from different areas have been gathered by the show for a month to have football training and contests together under the tutelage of professional football players.

Ma Mingyu, who was part of the Chinese football team at the World Cup in 2002, and Qu Bo, another professional football player, were invited to guide the teenagers and develop their playing skills and training.

Some stars including actress Cao Ying are also part of the show, which will focus on the teenagers' daily lives as well.

Sun Changpeng, chief producer of the show, noted that one of the missions of the program is to raise enthusiasm for football so that people pay more attention to the sport and the culture around it.

"We hope more and more young Chinese people can join in playing football and compete on the sports field," Sun said. "We also hope that audiences can see the ambitions of young people of our country through the TV program."

The first season of the program started airing on Jiangsu TV in December 2020. Students of the elementary school of Heibao town in Baoding, North China's Hebei Province appeared in the show to display the situation of children's football training in China's rural areas.

Li Qianyou, coach of the football team of the school, told the Global Times on Monday that he still remembered the filming process of the program and he called for some students who have graduated from the school to attend to the show.

The school encourages students to join the football team and among more than 300 students at the whole school, over 80 have joined in the training.

Li said that after the show was broadcast on TV, the school and these young football lovers got a lot of attention from parents and local governments. "I think this attention is necessary for the development of campus football in China," Li noted.