In fall of 2019, the Sports Administration of China partnered with California Baptist University to provide 19 world- class Chinese athletes the opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in sports management at CBU.
The Sports Administration of China sponsors these students in hopes that they will return to China after they graduate from CBU with international knowledge in their field and perhaps join the international sports organization.
The elite athletes, joined by 10 additional students pursuing athletic-related fields, underwent a rigorous interview process to represent China in the new CBU Championship Class. The inaugural class became a part of the first CBU Championship Class in China with great success; however, the success was not without new challenges for the students.
“The biggest challenge the students face is that they have been training in their sports team ever since they were little, so they didn’t have systemized school education like most people do,” said Sunny Wang, graduate assistant for the Olympic Program. “Therefore, they lack training in writing and reading skills.”
Xuesong Gu, who placed fourth in archery at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, said this was her experience.
“When I was an athlete, I didn’t have much time to study. I was training every day,” Gu said. “Actually, I really want to learn more knowledge and the college life also is my dream. I hope to be able to better teach more people technology through learning.”
Many of the students in the CBU Championship Class said they want to live an American college life and take advantage of the many opportunities at CBU. Unfortunately, studying in a foreign culture can be challenging as a result of language and cultural barriers.
“The main problem is the language barrier, but by studying English and making more friends, the transition will be easier,” said Yue Cao, participant in the 2016 Rio Olympic 400-meter freestyle.
Wang said CBU was selected by the Sports Administration of China because it is a university that provides students with the means to succeed in their careers and make a difference in the field of athletics on the international stage.
Sean Chen, winner of a World Cup personal championship in archery, said, “The students are friendly, enthusiastic, energetic and passionate every day. The professors are also very professional and are willing to help me academically. All the staff was great.”
The CBU Championship Class is an opportunity for students to be in the company of world-class athletes and learn about their culture and past. As the program continues, students should be aware of the CBU Championship Class and continue to support their fellow Lancers.