Jan 12, 2017
Having worked in sports education for over a decade and watched with interest as the market has developed in Suzhou, we decided to open East Coast Sports (Yingken Sports in Chinese) because we feel that a fairly pronounced gap in provision exists.
The first pronounced feature of this gap is that there is not a sports training provider which can provide high quality teaching across a range of sports. Many companies focus on a single sport, such as football, with varying degrees of success, but very few, if any, presently have the core competencies to provide a sustained high quality service across a variety of sports which we do. With four of the five founding members holding masters’ degrees in sports education, and the other holding a master’s in more general language education, and with all having worked in management positions in multinational businesses delivering educational programmes, the feeling is that the company’s base is a very solid one.
The second feature of this market gap is that many of the existing sports training providers are driven almost exclusively by profits. In contrast, we plan to raise the bar in this respect and focus not only on social and environmental CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives, but also adopt humanistic educational principles that place high value on supporting our students’ development as individuals across the board in an increasingly dynamic and uncertain world. We will also ensure that all of our staff have had the appropriate background checks before they join us, in order to safeguard those we are educating.
In addition we are able to blend Chinese and Western educational approaches in a manner none of our competitors really can. Firstly, we have a multi-cultural management team with a wealth of experience. Many other companies are almost exclusively run by either domestic teams or overseas ones. In this respect we provide our customers with the best of both worlds. We also hire coaches based on their pedagogic and personal qualities, rather than as marketing tools which is the function many foreign coaches serve. Put simply, we hire the best people for the task at hand. To date we have been very successful in this respect. We also provide a multi-language learning environment valuing each and everyone equally.
Our goals are also fundamentally quite unique. Many providers who look to maximise profits will train regardless of the conditions. Although we are aware of the arguments for this, we also believe we have an obligation to ensure our students are kept safe, so if the climatic conditions are unsafe we will not risk our students’ or coaches’ health. We also want to promote the spirit of sport: that enjoyment and sportsmanship are as important as sacrifice and success. We want to develop a sense of fun and kindness in our students as well as a drive and determination to win.
Although we could list other areas in which we feel we have a potential competitive advantage we also do not want to give other sports companies too much potential guidance on what we feel is going to be good practice. However, if we can help to improve the sporting and educational landscape in Suzhou we shall be happy with our contribution.
If you are interested in learning more about our programmes, for either children or adults, please contact us either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on wechat - eastcoastsports2016
About the Column
This series focuses on individuals who have lived in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province for a while and have a tale that’s worth telling. Age, gender, nationality and race are all unimportant in comparison with what adventures the subject has been up to, the experiences they can recount.