More public sports facilities to be completed this year

Shanghai will build 50 more walking and jogging paths, as well as 50 new public ball game courts and 200 more neighborhood sports centers by the end of this year.
Xinhua

Children practice taekwondo yesterday in Yangpu District to mark China’s National Fitness Day.

Shanghai will build 50 more walking and jogging paths, as well as 50 new public ball game courts and 200 more neighborhood sports centers within the year, said Zhao Guangsheng, deputy director of Shanghai Sports Bureau.

Zhao was talking in a media briefing on Tuesday — National Fitness Day — during which he reviewed the bureau’s efforts in encouraging mass sport in the first half of the year.

Ma Yue / SHINE

Citizens receive free health checks at Fuxing Park on Tuesday, National Fitness Day.

Shanghai introduced the inaugural Citizen’s Amateur League in April, which will last till November. The league has set 10 major items including football, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, fencing, and so on. Competitions featuring disciplines favored by youngsters and foreigners have also been organized, covering city orientation, darts, squash, rugby, and more.

All the amateur leagues and competitions were organized by social forces including sports federations and enterprises. They submitted tenders and therefore received policy and finance support from the city government.

“The sports bureau is in charge of regulation making and supervision while providing necessary support to help the amateur league grow in a more market-driven way,” said Zhao.

Shanghai has been continuously building new sport facilities for citizens. As of last month there are 500 walking and jogging paths, 900 public ball game courts and over 11,800 neighborhood sports centers around the city.

“The city government has been putting an emphasis on sports functions when designing city level projects,” said Zhao. “Walking paths and cycling lanes are [also] important parts of the public space designed along the Huangpu River sides. Xujiahui Sports Park will add 40 badminton courts and 30 table tennis courts during its renovation.”

Apart from sports facilities, Zhao said that exploring cooperation between sports and health departments would be one of the bureau’s tasks in the latter half of the year.

“Doctors and health experts will be invited to neighborhood sports centers to give directions and consultations to citizens. Physical fitness items will also be added into citizens' health checks in the future,” said Zhao.

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