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AFL Press Release

First Training Camp: Phase One Success!

Wednesday June 5, 2013

 BEIJING, 3 July 2013 – AFL Global and Ganlan Media International (GMI) have completed phase one of a multi-level program to introduce American-style arena football to China. A special ceremony attended by ten Chinese national media outlets saw the first 24 graduates of the program being honored with official certificates as “phase 1″ coaches and officials. Lou Tilley, whose media company (Lou Tilley Media) developed the video and written curriculum for the 5-day crash course, served as master of ceremonies for the ceremonies, which featured AFL Global chairman Marty Judge (via a recorded message) Ganlan Media CEO Gary Morris, and Ganlan Media CEO David Wu.

“This could not have gone better,” said Judge, who attended the first 4 days of classroom and on-field training. “Our instructors did a fantastic job. I was shocked to see our new prospective China coaches and officials formed into offensive and defensive units and running their own plays by day 3 – just tremendous. The passion and hunger for information I saw was off the charts – and I saw some pretty good players as well!”

The clinic followed a 12-step lesson plan that featured instruction video for each module (translated into Mandarin) followed by a live lecture from one of six US coaches and officials on hand, followed by a 2-hour live practice on the specially produced, arena-football sized field at Beijing Sports University. “I found myself back in my roots,” said Tilley, “a whistle around my neck, leading guys through drills and drawing up plays. These students exceeded our expectations with what they absorbed, and sometimes stopped our staff in our tracks with their probing questions.”

As part of the festive closing ceremony, Gary Morris presented Beijing Sports University with a full set of football equipment. Photos, and in-depth stories in newspapers, the web, and on China TV marked the occasion as “historic” and the first “official government approved football clinic in China.” – Xinhua News Coverage

AFL Global coaching consultant Darren Kenney and AFL Global football operations manager Ken Bozarth then departed to personally visit 3 of the 6 China Sports Universities – each of which will develop their own programs. “I can’t wait to see the players waiting at these schools,” said Kenney, a Philadelphia resident who was an AFL all-star and who has coached for the Philadelphia Soul. “The men at our clinic tell me there are hundreds of young athletes who will work out for us at each stop. I suspect we will learn a great deal more.” Tilley and former AFL all-star receiver Darrek Branch were part of another group heading to 3 more China Sports Universities on a similar mission.