Training Local YMCA Leaders

Chinese Leaders for the Chinese YMCA

Pamphlet and report

"The School is organized to meet the need for trained physical directors in Young Men's Christian Associations, and this will ever be its chief aim. The physical director will continue to be trained to become one of the Christian leaders on the staff of a Young Men's Christian Association. But this training fits the student also to become the leader in physical training in other Christian institutions and to these, it is felt, the school has a distinct mission. We therefore invite heads of Christian institutions to send the school men of good character, with the proper qualifications to take the course in physical education."
   - School of Physical Education of the Association College of China, Circular of Information, No. 2 Autumn 1918

The training of indigenous leadership was a vital component to the promotion and growing of the Chinese movement. In October of 1909, YMCA secretary Dr. Max Exner developed a two-year course to train physical directors. The course consisted of training in athletics, textbook work, lectures in anatomy, physiology, hygiene, tests and measurements, the history of physical training and Bible study.

The need for quality trained staff ultimately led to the opening of the YMCA School for Physical Education of the Association College of China in Shanghai in 1918. Due to the outbreak of World War I, the School for Physical Education existed for only a year and a half, and many of the American secretaries who provided instruction went on furlough. After the war in 1919, J. H. Grey took over as the National Director of Physical Education. He decided that instead of having a training school in China they would send prospective students to the YMCA Training School at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. From Springfield, many of the students went on to teach at various universities. In addition, they served in the China National Amateur Athletic Federation and were great contributors to the development of physical education in China.

Training Local YMCA Leaders