WISBECH: Rugby player caught up in earthquake is Olympic coach

PUBLISHED: 13:54 19 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:29 02 June 2010

Mark laws in Chengdu hit by earthquake

Mark laws in Chengdu hit by earthquake

By ADAM LAZZARI HOURS after surviving a devastating earthquake that is believed to have killed more than 50,000 people and made more than five million homeless, Wisbech rugby player Mark Laws secured a job coaching the Chinese Olympic football team. The 2

Mark laws in Chengdu hit by earthquake

By ADAM LAZZARI

HOURS after surviving a devastating earthquake that is believed to have killed more than 50,000 people and made more than five million homeless, Wisbech rugby player Mark Laws secured a job coaching the Chinese Olympic football team.

The 26-year-old survived the 7.9-magnitude earthquake physically unscathed.

He had moved to China to work as a fitness coach for Chinese Superleague football team - the Chengdu Blades and was being driven to the training base, 55 miles south west of the quake's epicentre, near Beichuan, when it struck, on May 12.

He said: "We were stopped at a red light and the car began shaking. It got more violent and began shaking from side to side. After initially thinking someone was rocking the car, we soon realised something was wrong.

"We were surrounded by half-built apartment block and lots of cranes, so the driver sped off up the road to make sure we weren't hit by any falling debris.

"As we drove along the road came up towards us like a rollercoaster - you could see the road for miles in front and it just looked like the sea, it was very scary.

"We got into the open and pulled over but the earthquake continued for another three to four minutes.

"We had pulled over next to a glass factory, which probably not the best place to be during a massive earthquake."

The following day Mr Laws, who kicked the penalty that beat Kingston and sent Wisbech Rugby Club further than ever before in the national EDF Junior Vase, in February, was contacted by the Chinese Football Association and asked to move to Beijing to work as a fitness coach for the China Olympic team.

He said: "It was a mad 24 hours for me - experiencing the most tragic moment I have ever witnessed and landing the job I have wanted my whole life.

"I left clothes and have sent money to help people and have friends helping with the rescue operations.

"I wish I could do more to help physically, but will do as much as I can.


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