TIANJIN, China, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials with the organizing committee for China' s 13th National Games have promised to provide a "sports feast of mass participation". They say that ordinary people will be able to compete with professional athletes during the games.
China's 13th National Games will be held in Tianjin from August 27 to September 8.
"About 7,000 ordinary people will participate in 19 sports items in the games," Chen Zhemin, deputy director of the organizing committee for China's 13th National Games, said at a press conference on Monday.
"Mass participation is a big innovation in this year's National Games," Chen added.
"Grassroots athletes" will show off their skills in a total of 126 competitions such as badminton, table tennis, and rock climbing.
Li Yingchuan, assistant director of the General Administration of Sport of China, said at the press conference that China's National Games have been launching sweeping reforms in a bid to demonstrate comprehensive values at the country's highest-level sporting event.
According to Li, the organizing committee encourages athletes from different regions and working units to form teams for this edition of the National Games. He adds that ethnic minority areas should also fully participate.
Li also said that a city competition had been introduced in men's football for this edition.
Li said that they had been working on encouraging the army and localities to cultivate athletes together.
According to Chen, construction of competition venues and the National Games village is going smoothly. "The construction of the 81 buildings in the National Games village will be done by the end of May," Chen said.