Arsenal and new official soccer schools partner, iRENA are set to embark on an exciting new programme to drive grass-roots football across China.
This long-term deal with iRENA, China’s leading sports and cultural development company, will see Arsenal Soccer Schools opened throughout the country. Initial plans are to open them in five cities by the end of 2016 - firstly in Shanghai and Chongqing and an additional three later that year. Each of these soccer schools will offer sessions led by Arsenal-trained coaching staff to ensure the key principles of ‘playing the Arsenal way’ are incorporated consistently across each school. Club coaches will also travel to China to deliver sessions at selected Arsenal Soccer Schools each year. To help promote the schools, iRENA will be able to utilise a range of sponsorship rights including player and legend access, digital and social promotions and tours of Arsenal’s training ground facility. Speaking about the partnership, Arsenal’s chief commercial officer Vinai Venkatesham said: “We are delighted to announce this agreement with iRENA and are looking forward to helping develop the game in China. We will be working closely with iRENA to set up a number of Arsenal Soccer Schools across China and inspire young children to play football the Arsenal way.” Mr Hong GAO, iRENA’s chief executive officer, said: “This partnership with Arsenal is very exciting. Football in China is growing more and more popular and the government is particularly committed to encouraging youngsters to play.
"We are happy to be contributing to this through our partnership with Arsenal, who have a fantastic reputation for nurturing young players. We will be opening a number of Arsenal Soccer Schools across the country, with approximately 300 children at each school."
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