Rugby Man in Chengdu

Authors: Go Chengdu

2017-08-17

With a teaching experience of 15 years, Daniel Garvey has lived in Chengdu for a total of 13 years and worked as a graduate tutor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in the city, but what makes him known is that he created the first rugby team in the city.
Daniel first came to Chengdu in 2004 and he never expected he would stay in the city for so long, until he met his wife here, which resulted in a totally changed life.
(Daniel Garvey: the 5th on the left)
Daniel is a good teacher, and also an enthusiastic sport lover. Having decided to stay in Chengdu, he found, to his disappointment, that there was no rugby team in the city ― and it was even impossible to find a place to buy a rugby ball!
So at last he made another important decision for himself ― to create his own rugby team, since he found quite a lot of expats in the city shared the same passion but could not find a way to do it.
The team was formed in 2007 and Daniel named it Chengdu Black & Whites (Panda), which had 10 members ― all young men of foreigners ― at the beginning.
Now, the Panda Club has been strengthened to include 100 members, including 30 Chinese. There is even a female team of the club!
In order to improve the skills and overall strength of the club, Daniel has established contact with rugby teams in Beijing and Shanghai, and Panda Club has regular matches with the counterparts in the two cities every year.
Members of the team benefit a lot from the club as Panda is getting stronger. A Finnish young man Jussi Keskinen even became a professional rugby player of his national team when he came back to his home country.
"We need to expand the influence of rugby in this city," Daniel said in his speech at the ceremony of the 10th anniversary of Panda Club, "I really hope more and more people can join us as rugby is an international sport. Let's start with the kids!"
Daniel's son, who is 7 years old, also loves rugby very much. "I hope he can live a happy life here in Chengdu!"

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