SOAS University of London

SOAS triumphs at 2018 Chinese Bridge competition final in China

9 October 2018

SOAS students won top prizes in the 17th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition UK final, held at Queen Elizabeth II Centre on 24 March 2018. 

SOAS winners in the 2018 Chinese Bridge competition

SOAS winners in the 2018 Chinese Bridge competition, UK area (from right to left)

Zhaoxia Pang, Sam Robbins (First Prize winner), Gareth Erskine (Grand Prize winner), Wanli Gao, Tian Brown Sampson (Third Prize winner) 

Gareth Erskine coached by Wanli Gao and Sam Robbins coached by Zhaoxia Pang went to China to join the international competition on behalf of UK universities over the summer.

After many rounds of the competition, Gareth achieved first prize with other 5 contestants coming from different continents. Gareth also received a Confucius Institute scholarship to study in China, which also covers return flights. Huawei, the well-established mobile phone company presented Gareth a mobile phone Rongyao Play as a prize.  

Gareth Erskine playing the Er Hu (most popular Chinese instrument) as his performance
Gareth Erskine playing the Er Hu (most popular Chinese instrument) as his performance

SOAS students have had an outstanding record of success in the Chinese Bridge Competition, a prestigious international contest in Chinese language and culture proficiency for non-native speakers. Senior Lector Zhaoxia Pang said “I have been actively engaged in the coaching of SOAS contestants over the past ten years. I feel extremely proud of their brilliant achievements because nearly all of them came to SOAS as total beginners.”

Dr Nathan W. Hill, Head of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, said: "We already know that SOAS trains students in East Asian languages to the highest level found anywhere in the world, but the achievement of Chinese contestants showcases this excellence to the world."

Gareth Erskine (2nd from left), First Prize winner, 2018 International Final