EF Football - Jake Lewney

When contrasting nations come together, beautiful things often blossom out of the earth-shattering collision: The space race combination of German/ American scientists, the James Watt steam engine drew inspiration from a Spanish invention and nowhere is this positive collusion more evident than within the global microcosm of EF.


The ardent sun glistens on a moist green battleground in Chengdu. There is no rapturous roar from Chicago today. No joy filled echo of the Hello Song bounces around the world corridor. Tension ripples in the air, so thick you could scoop it up with a lepel, a fork or even a pair of Kuàizi. While the ability to caress one another’s ears with the sumptuous, buttery English language might have brought us together, there is one language that truly unites us. The roar of passion, the scream of determination, the usually Scottish cry of exasperation! The language of football.


This is EF Football day.


9:30 AM: If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Fitness and football are no exception. As practice and preparation are integral to a successful teacher’s day, it is so for the athlete. Any professional will tell you: “Pre-match preparation and nutrition can make or break a performance.” Except Usain Bolt, he broke the world record 100m on a breakfast of chicken nuggets… Mine is a breakfast wrap from KFC, compared to him that’s overkill surely!? I glance around surveying my teammates choices and find they are as diverse as the dialects championing their delights. Breakfast pancakes from one local vendor, chicken feet from another and one indistinguishable looking piece of meat I took the liberty of avoiding trying. Soon enough the pre-match jitters are replaced by the EF soundtrack of laughter, breakfast has disappeared and the convoy is dancing its way through the streets to the endless battle cry of the Chengdu motorist’s horn.