Nutrition company Herbalife has made a donation of $1.5m (€1.3m) to the Beijing Sport University Education Foundation, to help provide access to equipment and training for Chinese athletes and assist in the development of winter sports.
The donation will support establishment of the Herbalife Winter Sports Nutrition Research Center at the university, which will focus on developing Chinese performance in sports including ice hockey, figure skating and curling. The funds will be used to develop training curricula, hire professional coaches, and obtain sports gear and synthetic portable ice rinks. It is envisaged the centre and training programmes will also engage approximately 80 schools and 18,000 teenagers.
Herbalife will create sports nutrition programmes for student athletes, aimed at improving their performance and endurance, and will support the national team as they prepare to compete in the Winter Olympics.
The press release announcing the agreement said it aligned with Herbalife’s support of China’s ‘Healthy China 2030’ government initiative, which focuses on the health of Chinese citizens, and aims to popularise winter sports ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Dr John Agwunobi, the co-president and chief health and nutrition officer at Herbalife, said: “Working closely with Beijing Sport University to develop their winter sports program aligns with our corporate vision of supporting healthy, active lifestyles around the globe. We hope through our close collaboration, we can further the ‘Healthy China 2030’ campaign and the further development of winter sports in the country.”
Cao Wei Dong, the committee secretary of the China’s ruling Communist Party and president of Beijing Sport University said: “Winter sports are rising in popularity in China, particularly amongst youth and college athletes, and we’re eager to increase our participation and visibility at the international level.
“Herbalife Nutrition’s support enables us to leverage their expertise in nutrition and sports performance to strengthen our talent and capabilities in this arena.”