China’s critical shortage of English-speaking sports talents has hampered its foreign exchanges in the sporting arena. As English is not a working language in China, Chinese sports staff are seldom able to serve as high-ranking officials in world sports organizations, losing opportunities to build up an excellent image of sports power.
The demand for English-speaking sportspersons is growing rapidly as more and more international sports events are held in China. These talents are in huge demand during major sports events by foreign coaches and players working in China and by trans-national groups.
China’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympics also generates a need for a great number of English speakers, including organizers, interpreters, and liaison workers, who are familiar with the sports rules and regulations.
China’s WTO entry means many transnational corporations will soon be allowed to enter the sports industry and service areas in China. Chinese English-speaking sports talents will be sought after as these corporations adopt the strategy of localization.
(china.org.cn by Guo Xiaohong January 23, 2003)