Silver medals for Preston’s Pandemic City Hero Award winner

5 September 2023

Qigong and Tai Chi expert Feixia brings home silverware from 10th World Health Qigong Tournament and Exchange in Tokyo

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) director has won two silver medals at an international tournament showcasing the traditional Chinese well-being practice of Qigong.

Feixia Yu, the Director of UCLan’s Confucius Institute, brought home the medals from the 10th World Health Qigong Tournament and Exchange in Tokyo after impressing judges with her technical skills and artistic expression.

Qigong, pronounced “chi gong”, was developed in China thousands of years ago and focuses on improving health and well-being through movement and breathing exercises.

The 56-year-old is well-known in Preston for her online Qigong and Tai Chi lessons and was awarded in 2021 the Mayor’s Coronavirus Pandemic City Hero Award after offering more than 300 free online classes since April 2020.

"I feel proud to bring these medals back to Preston, especially as during lockdown the online lessons were really popular with up to 50 people attending on a busy day."

Director of the UCLan Confucius Institute Feixia Yu

Feixia, who has more than 15 years’ experience of teaching Chinese martial arts and well-being exercises, said: “I feel proud to bring these medals back to Preston, especially as during lockdown the online lessons were really popular with up to 50 people attending on a busy day. I think it was a great way of bringing people together at a time when many felt isolated.”

Feixia, who is also a member of UCLan’s Social Prescribing Research Unit, is keen to embed Tai Chi, Qigong and yoga in the NHS Social Prescription movement. She presented a research paper at the tournament that was written with colleagues from UCLan’s Allied Health Research Unit about the advantages and challenges of teaching Health Qigong and other traditional Chinese sports online.

Feixia added: “People are more and more aware of how exercise and meditation can play a key role in improving health and well-being as part of a holistic approach to addressing their individual needs. Tai Chi and Qigong are gentle low-impact exercise, suitable for all levels of fitness. By working with UCLan’s Social Prescribing Research Unit, I hope to introduce more people to Tai Chi and Qigong to help them achieve this.”

"By working with UCLan’s Social Prescribing Research Unit, I hope to introduce more people to Tai Chi and Qigong to help them achieve this."

Director of the UCLan Confucius Institute Feixia Yu

Medal-winning Feixia will be at the Mobile Event Tent (MET), which is currently situation on the University Square at UCLan, this Saturday from 1.00pm – 2.00pm to deliver a free Qigong session to mark World Health Qigong Day 2023.

Visit the Eventbrite page for more information or to book a place. The session will also be available online.

Feixia’s twice weekly free Qigong classes on Zoom are still available. Email the Confucius Institute for more information.

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UCLan Confucius Director Feixia Yu01 / 04

UCLan Confucius Institute Director Feixia with her two silver medals from the 10th World Health Qigong Tournament and Exchange in Tokyo