Building sports powerhouse becomes hot topic at China's "two sessions"

Source: Xinhua| 2021-03-11 14:15:32|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- After China laid out a blueprint for building a sports powerhouse, it naturally became a hot topic at the annual sessions of the national legislature and the top political advisory body.

Members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and deputies to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) voiced their opinions on the matter, placing importance on expanding areas for physical exercise and achieving the well-rounded and coordinated development of youth sports, competitive sports, and the sports industry.

"Places for taking physical exercises are required in communities, schools, and other public areas to cater to different groups including children, elderly people, and those with disabilities," said Yang Yang, China's first-ever Winter Olympic champion.

Chen Jing, a descendant of the Chinese traditional health-preserving method Five-animal Play, or Wuqinxi, called for efforts to build a "15-minute physical exercises circle", which means physical exercises facility should be reached within 15 minutes in city communities, to make it more accessible.

Unveiled on March 5, the draft outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035 also underscored the importance of providing physical exercise facilities, including school venues, walking paths, and sports-oriented parks.

The draft outline also paid attention to ensuring enough time for physical education and extracurricular exercises.

Chen is concerned that the many distractions in life, mobile phones as an example, will take kids away from doing physical exercises.

"How can we find suitable 'seedlings' for our sports development if our kids always play on their mobile phones after going back home?" she asked.

Yang, who has rich experience in competitive sports and deep roots in the sports industry, thought that athletes' exemplary role is quite important in fostering teenagers' habits of taking up physical exercises.

The Chinese short track speed skating legend envisions that after a sports powerhouse is built, leading to the industrialization of sports, it will offer nationals spectacular matches and activities, where competitive sports exhibit glamour and athletes serve as an example to develop a wide group of sports fans, especially among teenagers.

"After feeling the joy, they will experience these sports, which can bolster the development of the industry," Yang commented.

For members and deputies of the "two sessions", one character of a sports powerhouse is that the sports industry becomes a vigorous factor in the country's economic development.

"The sports industry has a great prospect. China is the world's second-largest economy, and the sports industry has much space for development," said the CPPCC member Xie Shuangcheng.

Apart from expanding sports-related consumption, the draft outline also involved the sports service sector in terms of advancing the prosperous development of the service sector within the country.

Yang Shu'an, vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, said that sports have a unique advantage in expanding domestic demand.

Yang, also vice president of the Chinese Olympic Committee, listed Beijing 2022 as an example, saying that with the Games approaching, more people travel to Zhangjiakou, Hebei for skiing, thus spurring consumption in many areas such as accommodation, catering, and transportation.

Emerging Chinese sports-related brands also play their role in producing more value.

"Chinese sports-related brands have earned more recognition. It boosts our confidence and pride, also contributing to Chinese economic development," Yang Yang noted. Enditem