Latest News:  
Beijing   Shower    27 / 21 ℃  City Forecast


Yao Ming calls for more sports in schools

(China Daily)

09:22, August 27, 2012

Yao Ming is watching students playing at the Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season.(Xinhua)

On Saturday, the first phase of his own efforts in that domain came to an end as the final buzzer rang in the Leshan Stadium and the inaugural Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season concluded.

Launched in April, the charitable program reached almost 27,000 students from 47 primary schools in 17 different cities nationwide, providing them with sports facilities and professional basketball guidance during the two-month course.

A total of 360 representatives gathered in Leshan, Sichuan province last week to attend the event's final stage, which featured a four-day camp, after-school activities and a mini tournament.

The program was supported by NBA Cares and the China Youth Development Foundation, and the NBA's Caron Butler was brought in to participate.

Yao, the founder of the initiative, said much work remains.

"The development of school sports activities in China remains small. Sports still lag far behind studies in terms of importance in students' school lives," the former Houston Rockets' All-Star center said on Saturday.

"Sports should play a much bigger role in school life for kids than it does now.

"By taking part in sports activities, kids can be more confident and happier. They can also learn teamwork and even find their potential not only in games but in other fields. That's what we want to achieve through this event."

Under the pressure of the national college entrance examinations, Chinese students have to squeeze their time to make room for heavy loads of homework and tests.

Physical education classes and most sports are canceled in most of the nation's high schools leading up to the examination.

After watching sports inspires young people and help them succeed in society in the United States, Yao said it's going to be a hard road to get there in China.

"The growth of sports' status in school life in our country has halted now. We should start over and let it go beyond just a function of keeping fit for students," said Yao, who will enter his sophomore year in Shanghai Jiao Tong University this autumn.

In response to the devastating earthquake in Sichuan in 2008, Yao established his foundation to help relieve the damage and has built 14 hope schools around Sichuan.

He thinks balls, rackets and baskets should be delivered to those schools along with books.

"When I remember my primary-school life, the first thing popping into my mind is the playground, not the classrooms or the books. So I expect to organize similar events to fulfill my campus with sports activities," Yao said.

NBA China CEO David Shoemaker provided some tips for Yao.

"My most important tip is to make sure you give and then follow up," he said. "By that I mean, you donate your money but also your time. We haven't just donated the money, we've come and watched the construction of those schools to make sure that our money has been well spent. Just continue to monitor the investment you made is my best advice."

News we recommend




Top four vegetables that help lose weight in autumn

Seven foods that enrich your blood

Sweet drinks may cause seven diseases

Three "poisons" that destroy men's health

Five 'super' foods you cannot miss in summer

Top 18 cancer fighting fruits and vegetables


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Female panda born in Sichuan

  2. Cool moments of this summer

  3. Apple losing smartphone battle to Samsung

  4. Trip to Hong Kong Ocean Park, China

  5. Gao Yuanyuan on Rayli cover

  6. Thai market: shop at your own risk

Most Popular


  1. Stakes high for Romney in Republican convention
  2. The costs of luxury spending are booming
  3. Sleeper buses need best mechanic in country
  4. Commentary: Quality of governance essential
  5. Brand positioning through experience
  6. Visits highlight Cairo foreign policy change
  7. New Silk Road has potential for global significance
  8. Egypt to pursue a more active diplomatic approach
  9. Commentary: Moderate growth rate
  10. The not so curious case of single women

What's happening in China

Female panda born in Sichuan

  1. Expressway horror as crashes claim 47 lives
  2. Shanghai 'vulnerability' contested
  3. Car plate applicants exceed 1m in Beijing
  4. Bridge collapse sparks uproar
  5. A look behind the documentaries

China Features

  1. China no longer simply 'world's factory'
  2. Sharp depreciation of yuan unlikely
  3. Special Coverage: Chinese Valentine's Day
  4. Rare tornadic waterspouts appear in Guangxi
  5. Tips for 'Stopping the Heat' [Special]

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai