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Language is no barrier for diving coaches
Published on: Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Language is not a barrier for the national diving team's interim head coach, China-born Zhang Yukun to communicate with Australian assistant coach Christian Brooker, despite both coming from different backgrounds.

The Chinese only speaks Mandarin, while the newly appointed Australian speaks English, but Zhang said communication was 'beyond language' in sports.

"Brooker is here for about two weeks now. In my opinion, if we have good understanding through our feelings, it is not a problem to understand each other. Moreover, with technology, we have our phone to translate.

"However, we are working at learning each other's language. Brooker is trying to learn Mandarin while I am trying to learn English," he said, as translated by the National Sports Institute (NSI) staff during a press conference with the Australian coach, here, Friday.

Zhang was asked about the difficulty to work together with Brooker, as neither of them speaks the same language.

"At this moment, we want to ensure that everyone is mentally and emotionally stable, to make them focus for the upcoming Commonwealth and Asian Games. We will continue with whatever (method) is suitable and only change it based on the divers' needs," Zhang added.

Brooker will assist Zhang, who has been appointed as interim head coach in place of Yang Zhuliang, whose contract under the Podium Programme was not renewed late last year.

The 36-year-old Australian, who has a master's degree in Sports Coaching (Applied Science) from the University of Queensland and with more than 10 years of coaching experience in the United Kingdom and Australia at the junior level, was first named as replacement for Yang, but then confirmed as assistant coach. – Bernama

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