UCLan Confucius Institute performs Tai Chi with Preston Mayor

18 May 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

Students and staff join Mayor Pomfret in one of last acts in office

Students and staff from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have joined the Mayor of Preston in one of his final acts in office by performing Tai Chi Fan in the city centre.

Performing alongside the Mayor, Councillor Nick Pomfret, were students from the UCLan Confucius Institute led by Master Zhang Ying who is a three-times Chinese National Tai Chi Champion. They used the occasion to raise funds for the Mayor’s chosen charity, St Catherine’s Hospice, by encouraging spectators to make a donation.

The group learned the 52 Tai Chi Fan moves during a recent trip to Beijing where the Mayor and students spent four hours a day perfecting the moves and, since returning from China, have undertaken two hours a week of further training.

Mayor of Preston, Councillor Nicholas Pomfret, said: “I have a fond interest in martial arts having partaken in training for roughly 20 years of my life. But I had never tried Tai Chi Fan. I find the form enjoyable as it incorporates wide range of movements from non-martial sources. Coupled with the distinctively motivating, energising music.

“It’s very fitting that this is one of the final events in my Mayoral year. With this being one of my last actions I would love to raise awareness and donations for my chosen charity, St Catherine’s Hospice.”

“With this being one of my last actions I would love to raise awareness and donations for my chosen charity, St Catherine’s Hospice.”

Feixia Yu, Director of the UCLan Confucius institute, commented: “We are delighted to join the Mayor in one of the final acts of his term and help to raise funds for St Catherine’s Hospice at the same time. A key remit of the UCLan Confucius Institute is to share China’s traditions with the local community and I am delighted that Mayor Pomfret has been a big supporter of this during his time in office.”

Senior fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, Lynne Whittaker, added: “The support of Mayor and Mayoress Pomfret during their term of office has been absolutely fantastic.

“The variety of activities and events they have organised and got involved in with, along with their enthusiasm for the cause, has been wonderful. The fan dance performance was amazing – certainly a very creative and unusual way to raise funds!

“The money they have raised over the past 12 months will help St Catherine’s to provide our specialised care and enable our staff to be there for local people when it really matters most.”

A video of the performance is available to see on the websites of Preston City Council, St Catherine’s Hospice and the Lancashire Evening Post.

The UCLan Confucius Institute was established in 2008 to promote Chinese language and culture in the local community.