Schools to make room for sporting success

Schools come up with innovative ideas to increase the time and space devoted to sports.

With the big push to promote sports in schools and get kids healthy, some schools, especially those in downtown areas, have found themselves without enough space.

So, innovation abounds. Some have reach up to the sky, others have dug into the earth.

The city education commission organized a tour yesterday for district educational authorities to learn see some of the more successful examples.

Tongji Middle School in Yangpu District has spent 6.75 million yuan (US$990,000) a roof for a playground that can be opened and closed so that students can play sports even on rainy days.

The roof, 18 meters above the playground, covers about 300 square meters. It shelters students from both rain and sun when all six plates are laid out. It takes 15 minutes for the roof to be fully opened or closed. The structure can withstand a magnitude-8 earthquake and typhoons.

The school also has converted two idle classrooms into a taekwondo practice area and a room for physical testing and training.

“Our school is not large and there was limited space for sports, especially on rainy days,” said Zhang Xiaoming, principal of the school.

“Now, students can have PE classes and take exercise no matter what the weather,” he said “We can easily meet the education commission’s requirement that middle school students have at least three PE classes and one sports class. They actually have more than one hour of sports each day.”

In Xiangming High School, a 200-million-yuan project has turned 4,000 square meters of underground space into courts for basketball and badminton with space for aerobics and table tennis. The space is used by students from another three nearby schools.

The school also expanded its outdoor sports facilities, making the total area more than 6,000 square meters, a quarter if the school area and a big improvement on the five percent of a few years ago.

“We had outstanding athletes in basketball and swimming even with poor facilities, but better facilities benefit all the students,” said PE teacher Rui Renjie. “And we can now carry out more diversified sports on campus to meet students’ interests.”

“I liked the movable roof,” said commission official Hu. “I think many schools will be interested in having one themselves, while underground project is much more challenging and costly.”

Liu Xiaojing / Ti Gong

Students of the Tongji Middle School play basketball when the intelligent is open.

Liu Xiaojing / Ti Gong

The intelligent roof at Tongji Middle School.

Liu Xiaojing / Ti Gong

Students of Xiangming High School paly basketball in the underground stadium.

Liu Xiaojing / Ti Gong

Female students at Xiangming High School have PE class in an underground stadium.

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