Rugby News Board for Chinese

My recent new side project — Rugby News Board just finished refactoring with Node and React as the front-end, where Rails was the initial version and it is now API only. Okay, it definitely not a tech-blog. Instead, I think I should tell something about the Rugby sport in China.

My Interest in Rugby

Rugby is one of my favorite sports, though it is mainly for watching. I fell in love with this sport in a period that I was preparing for an international student’s career. I would go Australia that time and I knew that Rugby is kind of popular there. So I went surfing on video websites in China for Rugby match videos.

Luckily, there are several test matches’ videos which were fascinating for me, especially the game between the Springboks and All Blacks. Later, I became a big fan of South Africa. I really enjoyed the games and the anthem.

Rfuchina.com

In my very first year in Australia, it was the Rugby World Cup 2011. New Zealand hosted the game, which meant that it’s in the same timezone. There was no time difference.

At that time, I found a Chinese Rugby community — rfuchina.com, and its official name was Try China. The population of the community was not optimistic. There were just someone who really love and enjoy Rugby but active users were just very few. Discussion only aroused when there was clash between Rugby top teams.

Even so, we loved the site. However, unfortunately, it was gone without any news.

This is not surprising to anyone who concerns about Rugby in China. Rugby is regarded as a cruel game played by barbarians, which is not felt good for classic values. People think it easy to get injured by Rugby.

Secondly, the influence and media coverage of Rugby is not good. No one exactly hear about it on TV and Internet. And the translation of Rugby is pretty similar to American football. They share the same part 橄榄(which denotes from the shape of Rugby ball, Olive-shape Ball) and the difference is the word prefix. One is 英式橄榄球(literally English-style Olive Ball) and the other is 美式橄榄球(literally American-style Olive Ball), which even makes it miserable for a typical Chinese to identify what is Rugby. NFL has more influence in China and the emoji of 橄榄球🏈 is also American style.

To make things even worse, Rugby was not part of Olympic games at first. Thus, the government did not invest on it. Later, Rugby Sevens entered Rio 2016. However, Chinese Rugby Sevens team has difficulty qualifying the Olympics.

The majority of people don’t like it and the government doesn’t support it. That is the real situation for Rugby in China.

Build Rugby News Board

I am an experienced web developer and I keep on making side projects on web. As I were a daily reader of English Rugby news website, it was naturally to imagine for a Chinese one. I am neither a journalist on sport nor a fast translator of the news. Thus, I decided to build a Twitter-like news site — Rugby News Board.

Twitter-like means short news first and title may represent most of the content, where the content part may contain further information such as background information, or table for match statistics. But why not directly create a Twitter account? I think it is more official to establish a website with its own domain name than an account on social network. Twitter or Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) may synchronously tweet the news posted on the site.

So I demo and launched the website within a week on my VPS. Then, it was migrated to Heroku — the PaaS platform.

No slightest waves were set off in the few months after launch, which is not surprising because the popularity is low and I did no promotion. However, one week later, a Chinese fans who played Rugby in China Agricultural University as Lock sent me an email after he saw my website. We then chat happily and made friend with each other. This is the first wave and really felt satisfied with it.

Conclusion

Though I see no future to grow much popularity and attractions of the sports in China, I think it worth to build this website. At least, we Chinese Rugby fans in need one and we love the sport.