New courts for Jing'an basketball fans

New self-service courts are part of the district's efforts to make sports more easily accessible. 
Yu Ruwen

Self-service basketball courts on Xinma Road and Linfen Road will soon be joined by 11 others as Jing'an works to make sports more easily accessible.

Eleven self-service basketball courts are opening in Jing’an this year as part of the district's efforts to make sports more easily accessible, according to the local sports authority. 

Last July, Jing’an was a pioneer in the city when it launched self-service courts at 262 Xinma Road and 1640 Linfen Road. So far, nearly 20,000 people have used them.

By the end of this year, there will be 11 more such courts in communities across the district, with each having a team competing in the amateur league, officials said. 

“We can achieve standardized management, attract more citizens to play basketball and even form a kind of sports community,” said Yu Biao, director of Jing’an Sports Bureau. 

Users scan a QR code at the gate to gain entry and activate a timer. They pay via WeChat when they leave. 

The new courts will be open 24 hours, charging 5 yuan an hour during the day and 8 yuan per hour in the evening. Entry from 7am and 10am Monday to Friday will be free. Vending machines dispense drinks and rent out basketballs. 

The existing courts proved so popular that users often had to queue outside. A new system will allow users to check which courts are available using a WeChat app called Joyway. 

“I just need to take my smartphone and everything can be done,” said user Li Yang. 

“We found that some users formed their own small sports community,” said Mao Lina, an official with operator Joyway Sport. “It has become a platform for youngsters to make friends.”

Administrators monitor the courts through CCTV cameras and warnings are given through loudspeakers if violations occur. Repeat offenders will be blacklisted.

“Users are required to use their real names to use the courts which is good for us to find the offenders,” said Mao. “Also, it saves costs as we don't need to send administrators patrolling around.”

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