Experts say China needs to popularize winter sports on grassroots level

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/10/21 0:37:04

China must popularize winter sports at grassroots level to have more talents in future, said some officials and experts during the World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo on Thursday.

"Cooperations among society, school and family members are needed to help teenagers get involved in winter sports," said Feng Hongrong, the commissioner of Beijing Municipal Education Commission, when he lectured the World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo Talents Development Forum.

"We are poor on grassroots level, not to mention talents or stars in winter sports," said Tong Lixin, director of the Sports Department of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

According to Tong, 70 percent of Olympic venue management staff in alpine skiing are needed.

In other events, like figure skating, experts are also in great demand.

"It's hard to run a skating club in Northen China as coaches are so easily lured by money, cities and brands from the south," said Yang Zhigang, a former figure skater who owned a skating club in Harbin of northern China.

President of Capital University of Physical Educational and Sports, Dr. Zhong Bingshu, claimed that winter sports in China faced labor shortage in every aspect, including professional athletes, coaches, managers, designers and producers.

"Europe could earn 100 billion euros during Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics," said Zhu Zhiqiang, President of Harbin Sports University, "because we are in under-developing stage in winter sports industry."

Zhu believed that total amount of venues is the key to accelerate winter sports development in China, since "even best universities like Peking University and Tsinghua University don't have skating venues".

"We indeed have venues, coaches and experience about how to popularize winter sports. But we need not only talents from universities but also tax and dues reliefs from government," said Fan Jun, President of Century Star skating club.


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