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Peyton Manning promotes football in China

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 01:18

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning spends time with local American football players at a quarterback clinic in Beijing ahead of the start of the inaugural Chinese Arena Football League. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (no reporter narration) STORY: Former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shared his experiences with young, aspiring Chinese American Football players at a quarterback clinic in Beijing on Wednesday (September 28). Manning, who retired following a Hall of Fame career, that also included a long stint with the Indianapolis Colts, is in China to promote the game ahead of the start of the China Arena Football League (CAFL) this weekend. The CAFL promises to be China's first ever professional American Football league, with six teams competing in the inaugural season. Following the CAFL draft in June, half of the 120 players selected are American and half are Chinese. Many of the American players, including Beijing Lions' Collin Taylor and Tyre Glasper of the Guangzhou Power, have played professional arena football in the United States. They will be playing alongside many Chinese players who have played college football in the United States. Despite the influx of established stars, as well as experienced AFL coaches, there is a long way to go before American Football takes off in China. However, Manning, who spent the day coaching young players, believes there is great potential in the country for the CAFL to be a success. "I think once people can learn the rules, learn of the strategies and game planning, and mental and cerebral part of the football - once they learn that and appreciate that, I think they would have more of an interest in the game. So I think there is a lot of potential for it, and getting more young people to play. It's a great way to start and help grow that interest," said the 40-year-old, who won two Super Bowls awards during a record-breaking career. Manning retired as the NFL's all-time leader in passing touchdowns and yards and as the only five-time winner of the league's Most Valuable Player award. For many of the Chinese players in attendance, it was an honour to play alongside someone so inspirational as Manning. "American football is an emerging sport in China. So people love this game and that people (who love this game) gathering together can promote this game for sure. And then he (Manning) comes here and gathers people from all over the country so that people can stay together," said Hu Lingyi, a player at the local Chengdu Pandaman American Football Club. China was scheduled to host a preseason NFL game in 2007 to kick off the one-year countdown to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but the game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks was postponed and ultimately cancelled. However, there are plans for the country to host an NFL regular season game before 2018, with the re-created Los Angeles Rams expected to feature. The inaugural season of the CAFL is due to begin on October 1 in Beijing before "The China Bowl" final in Shanghai in November.

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Peyton Manning promotes football in China

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 01:18