‘This is not about volleyball’: Maryknoll hosts exchange program with Chinese high school

Updated: Aug. 6, 2019 at 3:24 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s long been said that sports is a universal language.

Athletic competition has always had the ability to bring people together, regardless of age, ethnicity, or culture. Volleyball, for example, is played the same way anywhere you go.

So when the girl’s volleyball team at Maryknoll School hosts Shanghai’s Fuxing High School for a pair of exhibition games this week, the Chinese visitors will feel right at home.

“Sports is like music and art, there are no boundaries to it,” said Jianguo Xue, Fuxing High’s principal. . “Even though there are language barriers, these girls will overcome that and find commonalities with one another.”

The teams will have plenty of opportunities to discover those commonalities; 13 of the Chinese students are staying at homes with Maryknoll families as the school hosts them for joint practices, and the visitors are also scheduled to visit the Pacific Aviation Museum and take hula lessons.

“This experience is definitely not about volleyball. Volleyball is one of our common interests," said Pua Beazley, a Maryknoll student-athlete. "I’m hosting a girl, and it’s really just about showing her our culture and how we are here.”

Fuxing volleyball player Gee-When Tang has only been in Hawaii a short while, but says she has already felt the aloha spirit.

“The people here are really warm-hearted, so my journey here is very happy. They are very strong and taller, but I think they are very friendly.”

The games are scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 9 a.m., with both games being played at the Maryknoll Community Center.

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