MRI Forum 38

"China’s first-ever team appearance at an Olympics
—the footballers’ adventure of 1936 "

by Vincent Heywood


Summary of the Presentation

In this forum, Vincent Heywood will present to us his research on China's first-ever team appearance at an Olympic Games, as seen through the footballers' story. Starting with a mammoth tour of Asia to play games and raise money, the team joined the rest of the Delegation and travelled to Berlin to participate in the eleventh celebration of the Summer Games. Drawn to play Great Britain, the team was widely applauded for its heading and control skills, a throwback to the ancient sport of Cuju. The speaker will cover the birth of football, which owes its origins to the Han Dynasty, and which was recognized by the world football body FIFA in 2005. Ironically, eight of the eleven footballers selected to play on 6th August 1936 came from Hong Kong, and the reasons for this collaboration will be explained. Archive material on this episode in China's sporting heritage will be shown.

Profile of the Speaker

Vincent Heywood was born in London. His research interests are Chinese culture and business, and his research on the nation's Olympic football heritage has been dramatized in two TVB television documentaries, broadcast last August.

Mr. Heywood's background is in training. Qualified as a financial planner through the Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK, he provided training for bank sales staff in The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Korea, Hong Kong and Macau, and has lectured on financial topics in China. Since obtaining an English language training qualification through the University of Cambridge, he has carried out Business English and presentation skills assignments for Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Police, and has trained Chinese management staff at Hutchison, Bank of East Asia, AIG and other publicly listed companies.