Coach from Taiwan brings baseball to Fujian
Lu Chih-min coaches baseball at Fujian Polytechnic of Information Technology in Pingtan county, Fujian province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
It is not difficult to tell his occupation when one sees Lu Chih-min for the first time. As always, he wears a cap and a black sports shirt. His skin is healthy tan, evidence of outdoor activity.
Before coming to Pingtan, Fujian province, from Taiwan in 2014, Lu had coached baseball for many decades.
"I started learn baseball when I was 10, and became a coach myself when I was 24. I have been coaching ever since," Lu said.
When Lu retired in 2014, he was told by a friend to try living and coaching in Pingtan county. The suggestion took root.
Unlike in Taiwan, where baseball is popular, few are familiar with the sport in Pingtan, and even fewer are skilled. Lu coached at different schools and tried to form a professional team but failed many times.
Luck found him in 2018, when a local college — Fujian Polytechnic of Information Technology — hired him as a sports teacher and gave him the task of forming a baseball team.
Instead of hiring foreign coaches, which is expensive, Lu thinks it's better to train local players and expand the local talent pool, and then let them to train others.
"Coach Lu would instruct us to catch balls in different ways, and no matter how long we train, he is with us. He is strict and professional," said Chen Jiajie, a member of the team.