Major projects under way to prove more exercise facilities

Ke Jiayun
Shanghai is filling the gap between the current sports venues and residents' demands by beefing up construction of sports venues. Many projects have begun or are due to start.
Ke Jiayun

Shanghai is making efforts to satisfy citizens' demands with the construction of more sports facilities and venues, Shanghai Sports Bureau said on Tuesday.

The bureau also said it is working to raise awareness of keeping healthy through exercise.

The construction of some major sports venues has already begun or will start this year, including Xujiahui Sports Park, Pudong Soccer Court, Shanghai Citizens' Sports Park and Chongming National Sports Training Base. Other projects, including a basketball arena, horse-riding park, sailing training base and cycling center, are in progress.

A report in October last year revealed that Shanghai's per-capita sports venue area was 1.83 square meters in 2016, 0.11 higher than the figure in a 2013 survey. The bureau said this was lower than in the sister provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu and the cities of Beijing and Tianjin. According to some reports, the per-capita sports venue area in the US and Japan is 16 and 19 square meters.

The 2013 national general survey of sports venues showed that Shanghai had more than 38,000 sports venues and its downtown per-capita sports venue area was less than 1 square meter. Some indoor sports facilities such as non-profit community fitness centers which allow residents to do several sports were still not enough.

A female fitness enthusiast who lives in Hongkou District told Shanghai Daily that although the Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium has many different facilities such as squash courts and basketball courts, the squash courts are always occupied and it's hard to reserve one. And sometimes people parked their cars in the basketball courts. The lack of public sports venues nearby also made neighboring Luxun Park very crowded.

Another fitness enthusiast Wang Xiang finds the public opening times for the track-and-field grounds in primary and secondary schools near his home in Pudong and his office in Jing’an too early for commuters. Although residents are still allowed to use them in the evening, the lights are off and it is hard to exercise in the dark.

“If you go to some downtown sports venues like Luwan Stadium or Jing’an Workers’ Stadium after work, especially after dinner time, you’ll find the tracks are full of people who stay there until they close,” said Wang.

But he added: "It's very nice to have the waterfront area along the Huangpu River open to the public and now it's convenient for me to go cycling and jogging there."

Last year, local sports authorities established or reconstructed 210 resident fitness spots, 75 fitness tracks and 65 sports courts.

Shanghai hosted 162 major international or national sports events in 2017 with international events nearly 40 percent of the total at 61. A community sports service program has provided sports training and lectures on fitness to 165 local communities and nearly 110,000 residents.

The report released last year said the proportion of residents who exercise regularly increased to 42.2 percent from 2015's 40.8 percent. Over the recent New Year's Day holiday, more than 60,000 residents took part in sports events and the newly opened 45-kilometer riverside area attracted a number of people to exercise using the sports facilities there.

At present, Shanghai has over 55,000 social sports instructors helping with citizens' health issues and almost all communities have their own service spots.

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