On November 21, UFC hosted its first-ever charitable event in China, in conjunction with Endeavor’s Walk the Walk 2019, the organization’s annual global day of service.
The UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai welcomed 25 students from Stepping Stones China, a non-profit founded in 2006 to teach English to rural Chinese children and improve the education and general welfare of disadvantaged children. In 2018, the organization taught English-speaking lessons to over 12,514 children.
As part of the day’s activities, students were given a tour of the Performance Institute, taught wrestling and grappling fundamentals, and served lunch in the UFC café. During lunch, Stepping Stones employees utilized the time to host their daily English-speaking class.
“Welcoming Stepping Stones to the UFC PI Shanghai was a wonderful experience for all involved,” said Kevin Chang, Senior Vice President of UFC Asia-Pacific. “It was our first Walk the Walk event since our grand opening in June, an unforgettable opportunity for our staff to interact with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and hopefully share with them a positive experience thru sports.”
As part of the activation, UFC donated ¥11,500 Chinese Yuan, approximately US $1,634, to Stepping Stones for support of their programs.
“The children of Stepping Stones felt so welcomed by the staff of the UFC Performance Institute,” said Yili Huang, the event manager at Stepping Stones. “The sports activity was especially fun for the children because they were taught by professional coaches. It provided a great and mutual learning opportunity for volunteers and children. The students, many of who have few chances to meet foreigners and practice their English with native speakers, were able to broaden their horizons. Meaningful visits, such as this, leave a lasting impact on the migrant children in China.”
In June 2019, UFC opened the 93,000 square-foot elite athlete training and performance facility in Shanghai, China. This space serves as a training hub to develop and support MMA athletes from mainland China and the greater Asia-Pacific region. UFC also utilizes the building as its headquarters in Asia, housing UFC employees and UFC Performance Institute staff, including experts in the fields of MMA, strength and conditioning, sports science, physical therapy and nutrition.