STUDENTS who love football can now pursue their aspirations with the help of a nationwide charity programme. Called the new Asian Games Football Dream School, the programme was launched by the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 Organising Committee and Education Association between Malaysia and China (EAMC) in Kuala Lumpur last month.
It is jointly initiated by the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 Organising Committee and the Youth Football Growth Charity Fund.
After more than two months of recruitment, the charity programme received 139 applications from schools in various states.
Organisers say the charity programme has broken through geographical limits and continues to help more teachers and students to create better football programmes at schools.
At the same time, the programme has also established a platform for sports exchange between Malaysia and China, which helps to enhance the relationship between the two countries.
The programme aims to provide equipment support, course donations, growth companionship, charity summer camps, football-friendly matches and other forms of donations to support the 2022 Asian Games Football Dream Schools across Asia before the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
EAMC president Jiang Zhongqi said the programme had helped many children with football dreams and the association was honoured to be the programme organiser in Malaysia.
Asian Games Football Dream organising committee adviser Datuk Nicole Wong Siaw Ting said she hoped that through the charity programme, sports exchanges between Malaysia and China would be enhanced and sports charity connections consolidated.
She hoped the programme would help children fulfil their dreams and encourage more young people to pursue their ambitions.
Olympic Council of Malaysia vice-president Datuk Chong Kim Fatt, who is also head of the Malaysian delegation to the Hangzhou Asian Games, commended the organising committee for successfully promoting the charity programme in Malaysia.
Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin Datuk Seri Mohd Najib, China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur director Zhang Jiexin, Federation of Chinese Association Johor president Datuk Lim Kah Chuan, Yayasan Visi Matahari director Datuk Andy Tan Boon Hin, badminton great Datuk Lee Chong Wei and YTO International regional director Jason Lee were present at the signing ceremony and expressed their support and recognition for the charity programme.
During the handover ceremony, Chong waved the flag on behalf of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 Organising Committee and handed it to Jiang in acceptance of the donation.
A YTO courier box, used as a representation of the Asian Games Football Dream equipment package, was handed by Lee to Wong to kick-start the donation ceremony.
YTO International is involved in the cross-border delivery of equipment and materials.
The programme is also supported by the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia and Johor government, along with Federation of Chinese Associations Johor, YTO International and Yayasan Visi Matahari.