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Chinese provinces boost development of physical fitness with popularization of winter sports

Time:2022-09-09 09:36:00 Source: People's Daily Online Original China Youth International

Many provinces in China, many of which have insufficient natural ice and snow resources, are ramping up efforts to develop winter sports after adopting various approaches in recent years.

Home to over 30 large venues for winter sports, Hubei Province in central China has brought sporting activities to 2.6 million people, having organized many different winter sports events. In its capital city of Wuhan, 19 schools have been listed in the first batch of schools featuring winter sports education. The city has built over 10 venues for winter sports, where about 2,000 people practice figure skating and ice hockey on a regular basis.

Players compete in an ice hockey game in the 16th Guangdong Provincial Games. (Guangzhou Daily/Sun Jiahui)

"Yichang, Shennongjia and Enshi in Hubei have rich ice and snow resources, and can attract winter sports lovers from many different parts of China," introduced Shui Bing, head of the sports bureau of Hubei. "The province has also cultivated athletes in winter sports, and has worked hard to encourage more people to participate in winter sports and develop the winter sports industry," Shui added.

Besides, the province incorporated some of the winter sports in its provincial games this year for the first time, including figure skating, ice hockey and skiing. "This carries great significance for the in-depth development of winter sports," observed Wang Xu, an official in charge of martial arts and winter sports at the sports bureau of Hubei.

Likewise, some winter sports have also officially been included in the just-concluded provincial games of south China's Guangdong Province for the first time. A total of 364 athletes from eight cities in Guangdong participated in different categories of ice hockey and figure skating, and with athletes from seven cities winning medals.

The winter sports games were held inside an ice rink in Shenzhen, Guangdong. Covered by an air inflatable dome, the ice rink is a training base for the Chinese women's national ice hockey team and a venue for a local ice hockey team called the Shenzhen Kunlun Red Star Vanke Rays, but is also open to the public when the teams are off the ice. A growing number of residents have visited there to skate or participate in training courses in ice hockey, according to a staff member at the ice rink.

"Many children have participated in and gained a better understanding of the game through training courses and open courses," said Yang Liying, a coach of the club, and also a former member of the Chinese women's national ice hockey team. According to incomplete statistics, 200,000 teenagers received training in winter sports such as figure skating and ice hockey during the period from 2017 to 2021.

Today, the province of Guangdong is home to 25 different clubs for ice sports as well as some 20 ski clubs, many of which offer lectures on winter sports to local primary and middle schools, and work with schools to establish hockey teams.

Sichuan Province in southwest China has established nine professional teams in six types of winter sports, including short-track speed skating, figure skating, and curling, among others. At present, there are 212 athletes, and 24 professional coaches. Its capital city of Chengdu has meanwhile built 14 major ice rinks and six ski resorts, in addition to organizing nearly 200 winter sports events annually.

Original Title:Chinese provinces boost development of physical fitness with popularization of winter sports
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