East Meets East

CAPERS Men's Basketball Team to Play in China

Today, Cape Breton University President, Dr. John Harker, announced that the CAPERS men’s basketball team will travel to Beijing, China, from December 27 to January 3, for East Meets East. The historic event will build on the relationships that Cape Breton University has established with several Chinese colleges, universities, high schools and organizations, and bring international exposure to Cape Breton Island, CBU and its basketball program. The CAPERS team, invited by Renmin (People’s) University of China, will play in three games – the team’s first invitation to play in China.

The CAPERS men’s basketball team has enjoyed a successful season to date, embarking on the trip with a 7-0 record. Last year, they were crowned the 2010 Atlantic University Sport Champions. According to CAPERS coach Jim Charters, “Travelling to China will be an amazing educational and cultural experience for our program. The opportunity to promote CBU and compete internationally as one of Canada’s top university men’s basketball teams will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The CAPERS will arrive in Beijing on December 28 and take to the floor for their first game against Renmin (People’s) University of China on the December 29. The second game will see the CBU CAPERS vs. NDRC’s Men’s Basketball team and on December 31, CBU’s final game will be against Shougang Youth Team. Students will reside in university residences while in China and at times throughout their stay, Chinese students will accompany CBU students when touring landmark sites.

The opposing teams are readying their players for the visit and good crowds are expected for what promises to be a great set of games. Renmin (People’s) University Men’s Basketball team is a skilled group that has seen much success having won the first China University Super League Championship along with several Beijing University Basketball League Championships. NDRC delivers a strong line-up, posting wins in several national tournaments and the Beijing Shougang Youth Team has a long history of success as a top calibre team in China with several national championships on record.

“Internationalization represents opportunities for our students on many levels and this particular experience provides our athletes with a unique experience to compete in another country and represent this university in a sport that is extremely important to the Chinese people,” says President Harker.

“Our relationships in China are thriving, and we continue to build on them through our Beijing Office, our alumni as well as economic, mine safety and environmental initiatives that we have already established. The East Meets East program affords our student athletes occasion to play in a competitive environment over the holiday break while at the same time learning about a new and multifaceted culture and as always, business will be conducted.”

“I also see an additional opportunity to forge new partnerships and expand those that already exist; to identify areas for regional economic development in Atlantic Canada and China; and to strengthen our presence and reputation in China as a Canadian university of choice. It is particularly significant that the NDRC, a very senior Chinese government department has coordinated the formation of a team comprised of players from several high ranking Chinese teams, especially to play the CBU CAPERS. This speaks to the depth of the relationship established by CBU with NDRC and builds upon their particular interest in CBU’s Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE). We will continue the dialogue long after the week spent in Beijing."

During February 2010, CBU participated in the ECBC clipper ship presence in China and outcomes resulted in an agreement with Qingdao’s Ocean University to collaborate on the coastal management of impacts of climate change; an agreement for the CBU provision of training research on new technologies relating to coal, methane and syngas for North East China’s largest coal authority; and an agreement with the Chinese Government (International Co-operation Centre) on collaboration on all aspects of CBU’s CSEE.

Cape Breton University has been proactive internationally for several years and has seen student numbers increase significantly as a result of focused planning and relationship building. The University is currently home to over 500 international students originating from more than 43 countries. CBU has experienced a steady climb in international enrolment, reporting an increase of 27 per cent in fall 2010. Currently, Cape Breton University is home to 280 Chinese students, representing over 50 per cent of the University’s international student population. In addition, there are more than 120 Chinese students studying English on the CBU campus in the International Centre for English Academic Preparation (ICEAP) program.

Off the court, the basketball team will explore several historical and cultural sites including the Forbidden City, The Great Wall and Tian’anmen Square.