UniSA international student becomes football commentator

A UniSA Chinese student has won the opportunity to become an Australian Rules Football (AFL) commentator.

Li Jinsong recently entered a competition run by the Port Adelaide Football Club to find someone who could provide commentary for football games in Mandarin. Not only did Li Jinsong win the competition but he has been offered the chance to commentate all of the club's home games for the 2016 season.

Former Lord Mayor Dr Alfred Huang AM, was one of the judges for the competition which assessed each candidate based on their ability to provide engaging commentary in Mandarin as well as their knowledge of the game and its players. Dr Huang has had a long association with the University of South Australia and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree by the University.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to take AFL to China through the work of Port Adelaide and people like Li Jinsong. At present not many people in China know about our football, but I am sure things will change and more Chinese will become fans and support AFL games," Dr Huang says.

The 2016 games will be broadcast into China, giving the club the chance to expand its audience and introduce Chinese people to Aussie football.

Li Jinsong is excited to be part of this new opportunity.

"I love sports and this is a good chance to show Chinese another kind of football," Li Jinsong says.

Li Jinsong came to Australia from Shandong province in China and has recently graduated with a Master of Water Resources Management at the University of South Australia (UniSA). He enjoyed the opportunity for self-learning and the chance to develop skills for lifelong learning. He also appreciated the chance to expand his networks and friendships.

"UniSA is a young and energetic university which not only concentrates on the academic achievement of students but also on the link between students and the society. I've gained lots of social experience and made life-long friends via the activities and volunteer opportunities provided by UniSA," says Li Jinsong.

"As an international student it was valuable because it helped me settle into my new environment and adapt to the different culture quickly through communication and group work."

Li Jinsong is currently working for a logistics company and planning his own business. He also volunteers as a coach for UniSA Football United and has enjoyed the chance to become familiar with Australian sport. In fact he was introduced to Australian football through a program for international students at UniSA and fell in love with the sport straight away.

"I received an offer for a free ticket to a match between Port Adelaide and Sydney at Adelaide Oval. Originally I just wanted to have a look at the great Adelaide Oval so I took the ticket. But on the day I was absolutely shocked and attracted by the crazy fans of our Power. They gathered in Rundle Mall with uniforms, scarves and caps - they nearly occupied the whole street and made Rundle Mall a sea of Power blue," says Li Jinsong.

"At the Oval several players taught us the basic rules of footy as well as showing us how to kick and catch the ball. Overall it was fun and it made me interested in Australian football very much."

WeChat QR codeLi Jinsong is eager to start commentating next year and cannot wait to call the plays of his favourite player, Jasper Pittard. Although he does not know all the player names yet, he plans to learn them all so he can give the Chinese audience a high standard of commentary.