|A ten-year old player wipes a trophy in the showroom of the fifth elementary school in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 12, 2013. The boy said: "I want to join the national team and win more trophies." (Xinhua/Wang Fei)|
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Edited and translated by Du Mingming, People's Daily Online
It is summer vacation time, but children in the fifth elementary school football team in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, insist on training to pursue their football dream. This elementary school football team has successfully defended its title at the National Youth Campus Football Championship Finals, and has won the 4th China Weifang "Hope Cup" International Youth Football Tournament (one of the ten most influential youth football tournaments in the world) with seven straight victories.
A "Golden Boot" winner in the team said: "Our dream is to join the national football team, and scored the World Cup!"
To fulfill this dream, the coach always stays at school with these children. During school time, he leads the team to practice twice a day: one hour before class in the morning, and two hours after school in the afternoon. To test the training effect, the coach even takes the school team to practice with many other schools in Xinjiang. "Thanks to this professional spirit, the coach and his team have won honors for the school. It is our blessings to have such a great coach." The headmaster remarked. "When I came to this school 19 years ago, there was a soil playground, now it has changed to concrete, soon it will be paved with plastic cement." the coach said. It is reported that the football team is "a champion born on concrete playground".
The fifth elementary school is a school with glorious history and tradition in Urumqi. It was founded by Mao Zemin in 1939, aiming to develop national education. The school was named as "traditional football school of autonomous regional level" in 1987, and became "national AFC training base" in 2010. The school has won the national championship for eight times, making it a brand bilingual school with distinctive features.