Home» News» News» Focus»

Back to School Lesson: Women’s national volleyball team visits Peking University

SEP . 06 2016
Peking University, September 5, 2016: All 12 members of China women’s volleyball team visited Peking University for PKU Back to School Lesson. They bring with them the uplifting spirit and intestinal fortitude shown during Rio 2016.

All packed stadium with students waiting for the arrival of the volleyball players
Upon the 12 players’ arrival at Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium, students at the scene shouted three times together “Learn from women’s volleyball team; love our Peking University; stick together; revitalize China” to welcome these heroines.


Opening show
The slogan “Stick together; revitalize China” can be traced back to 1981 when China men’s volleyball team won the precious ticket into the world championship after beating South Korea. Though losing the first two rounds, the team refused to give up and won the next three rounds. Their spirit encouraged PKU students greatly. They assembled together to celebrate the hard-won success. On that day, “Stick together; revitalize China” was proposed and spread over China quickly, echoing with the spirit of China for its dream of revitalization since then. More than 30 years later, China women’s volleyball team won the gold medal at Rio 2016. The news was a great encouragement to PKU students, and furthermore it reminded them of the exciting moment 30 years ago.  

The stone carved with “Zhen Xing Zhong Hua” (Revitalize China)
between PKU library and Classroom Building No. 1
Zhu Shanlu, chairman of Peking University Council, gave the welcoming speech. He reviewed the night in 1981 and hoped that the spirit of Chinese volleyball can bring elements of persistence to that of PKU. At the end of his speech, Zhu put forward several questions for students to think about. He asked, how should we define the spirit of China women’s volleyball team? And what about “PKU spirit”? How should we combine these two together especially when PKU is on her way to becoming a world-class university? And how can those spirits contribute to that of China and help realize the dream of the great rejuvenation of our nation?

Welcoming the team players
Later, student representative Wang Shengbo from the School of Economics talked about his opinion on the spirit of China women’s volleyball team. Whatever the result of a match might be, the spirit would always be there. And these members of the women’s volleyball team would persist till the very last minute. Their spirit inspires not only PKU students but also many Chinese people.

During the next section, Hui Ruoqi, captain of the team, and three team members Zhu Ting, Wei Qiuyue and Yuan Xinyue, were invited on stage for a face-to-face conversation. During the interview, the audience was lucky to know many details in their matches and daily lives. For example, they have strict diet control during training. In rare occasions can they eat hot pot. They also put much emphasis on their team as a whole. During the match, they would circle together to encourage each other after each win. When asked about their plan after Rio Olympics, Hui said that the team will be dismissed and members return to their original team. Zhu is an exception. She is expected to start her career in Turkey later this month.

Professor Huang sharing his thoughts on the spread of volleyball among universities

After the interview, three representatives from PKU student societies were invited on stage to share their interpretation of the women’s volleyball spirit and how it is connected with PKU. Zhao Wanrong, leader of Mountaineering Association of Peking University (MAPKU), shared his experience last year climbing the 6282m Aemye Ma-chhen Range. They met with many difficulties during the climb but finally made it to the top. Zhao said MAPKU values the same spirit of persistence and tenacious struggles as the women’s volleyball team. Li Xiaodan, president of PKU Red Cross Society, shared her experience in Anhui Province with AIDS-infected children. These kids love volleyball but they can only play in a simple yard with a basketball and no other facilities. And Li hoped that the members of women’s volleyball team could one day visit these children and bring to them power and hope.
Professor Huang Jianbin from College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, shared his thoughts on the development of volleyball in universities. He has been coach of PKU women’s volleyball since 2009 and brought great change to the team. He compared volleyball with science and said that they are similar because they all meet with many difficulties, aim for the peak and require persistence and team-work.

The host reading some of the posts by the audience

Near the end of the meeting, 12 members took part in games with PKU women’s volleyball players and common students. There were also other interactions. A stir was aroused when someone posted his admiration for Wei Qiuyue through Wechat platform in front of the thousands of students. But others criticize the quality of these questions and hold the opinion that more thought-provoking questions should have been selected.

Students passing around the volleyball-shaped balloon inside the gym
With the background music of “Battlefield of the Youth” (Nian Qing De Zhan Chang), one of the favorite songs of the team, 12 volleyball players left Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium, waving goodbye to enthusiastic PKU fans standing along the sides of the road.
Written by: Yan Shengnan
Edited by: Wang Qian
Photographed by: Wang Qian / Wang Tiantian / Li Xianghua