July 12, 2017, by Elizabeth Smith
Rally Bridge: Going Global
“If you work extremely hard but come off feeling upset about the result – it’s self-destructive. You can hurt yourself. As long as you value the effort you put in yourself, [you will] remain your own best friend” – Johanna Konta
It’s that time of year again! Strawberries and cream become a staple, thousands queue for a spot on Henman Hill, and the world’s best tennis players flock to Wimbledon for one of the most prestigious sporting events worldwide, helping to inspire the next generation of sporting superstars.
At The Ingenuity Lab, we have a range of successful sports men and women who have used their experience and inspiration in their respective sports to shape their entrepreneurial journey. From kayaking to karate champions, they are all united in their drive and passion to improve their sporting industries and increase engagement.
One of these experiences has sparked the start of a new business that aims to encourage intercultural communication through the medium of sport, and continue to inspire young people from across the world to get involved.
Ingenuity Lab member and University of Nottingham Alumna, Haoyu Liu, started her journey when she was 16 years old.
“I was a professional table tennis player in China. My parents paid 50,000 RMB (equivalent to £500) to a so-called agent to send me to play professionally in Belgium.
As I was too young, I was denied the visa, but the agent still charged the money” – Haoyu Liu
Unfortunately, Haoyu’s situation was not a one-off. Many of her friends went through similar experiences, and still are over a decade on.
After joining The University of Nottingham as one of the first Deng Yaping scholarships, Haoyu studied Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management as part of The Haydn Green Institute.
Rally Bridge is an international sports company that helps athletes go abroad for professional opportunities, and overcomes the cultural obstacles for different nationalities.
Haoyu, Xianfeng Wu and Lawrence Chen have developed Rally Bridge based upon seven key principles of value; trust; respect; quality; diversity; passion; and integrity.
Although they have only recently joined The Ingenuity Lab, the team have not held back from getting involved in the community. In fact, in celebration of National Table Tennis Day, the team took Ingenuity Lab mentors Mel Berry, Liz Bolt and Hannah Noke for a spot of table tennis this week!
As well as inspiring our mentors to become table tennis champions, Rally Bridge are also planning their next activity, which is set to happen at the end of this year.
They have invited 15 young players from the Central South University Affiliated Experimental Middle School of Hunan Province, China, to visit The University of Nottingham and successful club at Carlton le Willows High School in December and continue to develop their table tennis skills.
Through establishing their base in the UK, Rally Bridge will be able to break down the cultural barriers between Chinese and British table tennis players, enabling communication and inspiration.
We look forward to seeing how they continue to develop their start-up over the coming weeks, and wonder if their work could help inspire the next generation of professional table tennis players.
Make sure you visit the Rally Bridge website to stay up-to-date with their progress.