Girls cheer before their football training in Xili Middle School in Yiyuan County, Zibo City, Shandong Province on June 11. [Xinhua]
A group of girls in Yiyuan, a county in Zibo, a city in East China's Shandong Province, has been practicing football skills in their PE class and spare time for years.
They all come from Xili Middle School in Yiyuan, a county located in the Yimeng Mountainous area, which used to be a major poverty-stricken region.
The team members, aged between 12 and 15, have been involved with the sport since their early student years. More than 20 of them attend training throughout the year.
The school launched the team to encourage more rural girls to play football, and offered them intensive and systematic training.
Thanks to the efforts of the school and the girls, the team has bagged many awards, including the first prize in women's football among all the middle schools in the county last year.