Zuzanna Suchcicka wins Grand Prize for Leeds in the Chinese Bridge Competition

Zuzanna Anna Suchcicka, a third year student of Chinese and International Business at the University of Leeds, has won the Grand Prize in the UK finals of the 20th annual Chinese Bridge Competition.

This year’s UK regional final was broadcast via Zoom, Facebook and Youtube. After opening speeches from high profile guests including the Chinese Ambassador to Britain Zheng Zeguang, ten Mandarin learners representing universities from across the UK took turns to impress the judges.

The competitors displayed their talents in two rounds, demonstrating their Mandarin speaking skills through speeches and sharing their cultural knowledge and creativity through a variety of performances.

Zuzanna (Chinese name 苏卉雅) is the first Leeds student to win the UK Grand Prize. She demonstrated her excellent Mandarin language proficiency and knowledge of Chinese culture with creativity and confidence. After starting her degree three years ago as a beginner in Chinese, Zuzanna is an inspiration for other learners!

Zuzanna’s winning performances

For her 3-minute speech, Zuzanna spoke about the similarities between Chinese dumplings and Polish dumplings, explaining how eating dumplings while she was in Taiwan helped her to feel at home. She then correctly answered a series of questions about Chinese language and culture.

Zuzanna’s performance was a role-play demonstrating her knowledge of Chinese medicine. Dressed in a doctors costume, she explained acupuncture and cupping in detail. She did an excellent job engaging the audience through her webcam.

Success for the University of Leeds

Tutors from the University of Leeds East Asian Studies Department and from the Business Confucius Institute were delighted to see their student excel.

Zuzanna spent weeks working intensively to prepare for the competition with the help of BCI teachers. Maggie Man was awarded Best Tutor for her work with Zuzanna in the build up to Saturday’s UK finals.

Maggie said, “As an athlete, Zuzanna is used to working hard and dealing with pressure. She has applied this perseverance and strength of character to her Chinese studies and it has been a pleasure working with her to achieve such great success in the Chinese Bridge competition.”

Zuzanna told me that during this process she has fallen in love with Chinese all over again. I was deeply moved to hear this!

Zuzanna is the first student from the University of Leeds to win the UK Grand Prize. She joins a growing group of successful Chinese Bridge contestants from the University of Leeds, including Rebecca Mingotti Landriani, who ranked fourth in Europe in the international finals of the competition last year.

Next steps

Zuzanna, along with three other competitors, will represent the UK in the Chinese Bridge global finals later this year.

Explore further

Read our news update in Chinese here

Watch the self-introduction video that Zuzanna made for the competition.  A version with English subtitles is available on our Facebook page.

The full competition is available to watch on Youtube. Follow Zuzanna’s progress via these direct links:

Read the news report from Xinhua about the Chinese Bridge Competition.