Colleen Wilcox | January 28, 2019
In 2016, the University of Notre Dame entered into a partnership with the Federation of University Sports China (FUSC), the national organization for university sports in Beijing. This unique athletic collaboration has brought some of the biggest leaders in Chinese athletics to campus and Notre Dame leaders to China. It’s also allowed for some enriching experiences for Notre Dame coaches and students.
In early 2018, FUSC approached Notre Dame International with the idea of inviting Notre Dame fencing coaches to China. Notre Dame’s Head Coach Gia Kvaratskhelia and Associate Head Coach Cedric Loiseau spent August 3 through August 11 in Shanghai, China, hosting a series of clinics and camps for both Chinese fencing coaches and students. The clinic attracted 66 fencing coaches from universities and clubs from 20 cities across Greater China. The two camps attracted 44 young fencers from ages 9 to 17.
This was the first time coaches of a Notre Dame athletic team were officially invited by the Chinese government to conduct nationwide training programs. Kvaratskhelia says it was an enjoyable and enlightening experience, for both the coaches and the participants.
“We were happy to share our philosophy of teaching, and teaching fencing, with our Chinese partners,” says Kvaratskhelia. “Our belief is that a coach should not merely give directions or be distant, but should be fully involved in teaching and supporting their students.”
In August 2018, nearly 30 students, coaches, and staff from Northeast Normal University, Shenyang Polytechnic University, and FUSC representatives visited campus to meet with the Notre Dame women’s soccer team. The soccer players from China were observed by Notre Dame’s soccer coaches. After practice, the Chinese soccer players and coaches then observed the Notre Dame women’s soccer team during their strength and conditioning training.
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