Serving up future options

Updated: 2014-10-23 07:31

(China Daily)

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Compared to her friends of the same school age, Nima Zhuoma has another string in her bow - or rather another string in her racket.

Seven years ago, Zhuoma, who is now 14, was selected from a remote village in Tibet to learn tennis.

Yang Xi, 56, a former Chinese national volleyball player and member of the team that won five consecutive world titles - World Cup, World Championships, Olympic Games - in the mid-1980s, said her aim in funding a tennis training class for impoverished children was to provide motivation and inspiration to anyone wanting to be a champion in sport or employment.

National Under-14 doubles champion and WTA Future Stars tournament qualifier Zhuoma speaks very good English and does the same schoolwork as other children her age.

"I don't worry about their future. If they are not able to turn professional, they have other choices based on their education," said Yang, who owns a real estate company.

Unlike such predecessors as Li Na and Zheng Jie, who caught up with their education while playing on the tour or in retirement, Zhuoma and her classmates are members of a new generation that is keen to attend international high schools as well as play sport, according to Yang.

Guan Xiaomeng

(China Daily 10/23/2014 page23)