Legislators seek answers on sports access

Chen Huizhi
Answering questions from legislators, the director of the city's sports bureau says the government is striving to provide more public sports facilities for residents.
Chen Huizhi
Legislators seek answers on sports access
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

People play football at Zhenru Stadium in Putuo District.

Why schools have stopped opening their sports facilities to the public and why public sports facilities are ignored while private gyms are packed with people were some of the questions asked by city legislators at a meeting on Wednesday.

Legislators held an inspection of the city’s sports industry during which they filed questions to Xu Bin, director of the Shanghai Sports Bureau.

Chi Hong, director of the Yangtze River Economy United Development Group Co, said school sports facilities which used to be open to the public had become largely unavailable recently while it was already very hard to find badminton courts and other sports facilities.

Zhou Jianhua, executive chef of Shanghai Baolong Hotel Co, said that while some schools kept their sports facilities open, they required users to register and buy insurance, which drove people away.

Xu said over 80 percent of all schools had their sports facilities open to the public as of the end of last year according to education authorities, while it was considered unsafe for certain schools to do so.

“Indeed, we have received some complaints from residents that while some schools have made public the availability of their sports facilities, they were often not available due to school events,” he said.

To ensure better services to the public from school sports facilities in Jing’an District, a third party was introduced to manage such facilities, Xu said.

As for the overall availability of sports facilities, Xu said there was a deficiency, especially in urban districts, of sports facilities near people’s homes, but he said the government has been striving to provide more such facilities for residents.

“We have used rooftops, underground spaces, spaces under elevated roads and parks to build sports facilities, and we’re pushing for sports facilities to be built on land not reserved for the purpose,” he said.

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