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Kickin’ It with Foreigners—Introducing the Binhai International Football Team
TEDA has a new attraction to cheer about—its own football (soccer) team—and the players really do come from all over the world. With support from Wei Ha Pub on 2nd Avenue, Yan Zhang, a native sports enthusiast, put together this diverse, winning combination to compete in the Binhai New Area Amateur Football League. So far this season their record is impressive at 10 wins, 3 loses, and a draw. “We’re good” she announces, smiling.
“This is a bridge for locals to get to know foreigners” she says, adding that “the same is true for the participants—they are curious about each other as well”. That makes sense, as team members represent ten countries, including Italy, Germany, Russia, South Africa, England, Poland, France, Ireland, the U.S., and, of course, China. 
“It’s a healthy alternative to the bar scene—the wives and girlfriends love it” says Ms. Zhang. “The matches are welcoming events which create cross-cultural communication”. Since middle school this gregarious Chinese business woman went to various sporting events, became a cheerleader, and found her talent in coordinating people. This effort however, “was also about providing expatriates with social activities beyond work”.
The teams usually play eight against eight at football fields in Tanggu. Says Zhang “Initially, we didn’t have uniforms—and the other teams all looked professional. So we got those”. The team also, has a constitution. Later this month they will be celebrating their one year anniversary, which will involve a party. These foreigners are having a ball achieving their goals. 
To join a team, learn more about the BHNAAFL, or find out about game schedules and locations, contact Yan Zhang at 15002269551. The Wei Ha Pub is also a source of information regarding local benefits, entertainment, and sport opportunities in TEDA.

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