During the KELME 2018 AUSF Football Cup, spectators can notice that a group of children wearing jerseys line up and then enter the pitch hand in hand with footballers before the game. These are the 26 teams of player escorts selected through the selection campaign of player escorts for the KELME 2018 AUSF Football Cup.
Gao Jingyan, a fifth grader from Lingshui central primary school in Jinjiang, is one of these player escorts. This lively little girl and her friends make up the player escort team for the matches held in YangzhengMiddle School.
"I love the grass on the pitch and the new jersey, and I love watching the games more," Gao Jingyan said and smiled. Although she is the shortest pupil among the player escorts, Gao still loves playing football a lot. "It feels great. The venue is very spacious and bright. It's a different experience for me, as I'm a player escort this time."
Every year, Lingshui central primary school will select qualified students who are interested in football in grade four, five and six to constitute the five-a-side football teams of boys and girls, and provide short training for these players after school. Gao is one of these players.
"I'm a winger in the team. Our team is very strong and once won the fourth place in the football league for teams from primary schools in Jinjiang," Gao said proudly while holding up her hand and stretch his body. "However, I really admire these players this time. They run fast and are able to pass the ball from a long distance on the pitch, just like tigers."
When asked why she compared the players to tigers, “Because they are as strong as tigers", Gao said enviously." "But I prefer the male tiger, who is tall and runs fast, and can rush out in a flash."
Although worrying this will distract her from studying, Gao's parents still respect her hobby.
"I like playing football," the girl said and jumped forward to the clearing in front of her, and looked to her teacher. As she found that her teammates were already in the stands, she wanted to go there, too.