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China's sports cause at crossroads

(People's Daily Online)

14:44, December 14, 2012

Competitive sports or public fitness

The Chinese nation suffered terribly from foreign invasion when it was poor and weak. The older generations cannot forget the humiliating nickname, “sick man of East Asia,” and aspiring young athletes have struggled hard to win one medal after another in various sporting competitions such as the Beijing Olympic Games.

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Luo Chaoyi, director of the Gymnastics Center under the State General Administration of Sports, said that competitive sports should not blindly pursue gold medals, and should develop together with public fitness. They are two necessary parts of China's sports cause.

The administration’s deputy head Xiao Tian said that competitive sports and public fitness do not conflict with each other and neither of them should be scarified for the other. At present, the main contradiction facing China's sports cause is the one between growing public needs and inadequate sports resources.

Public sports services are not equal to pubic fitness
People tend to equate public sports services with pubic fitness. Dong Chuansheng, a professor at Shenyang Sport University, noted that related government agencies should take meeting the public’s fitness needs as a core objective, and make constant efforts to improve their fitness awareness. Wang Jianjun, director of the Shaanxi Provincial Administration of Sports, said that the public’s fitness needs are the main driving force behind the government’s efforts in improving sports services, and fitness services constitute the main part of public sports services.

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Sports venues and facilities are the most obvious form of sports services, and have been frequently discussed. Liu Fumin, chief of the business department of the General Administration of Sports, said that China is accelerating building large stadiums, which have long been in short supply and suffered from low utilization.

The constant construction of public sports venues plays a part in holding important sports events and alleviating the urgent need for public fitness. However, professor at the Capital Institute of Physical Education Wang Kaizhen said that the construction of public sports facilities of China is not proper, with more fitness equipment and outdoor places suitable for morning and evening exercises of the elderly, women and children and less special and indoor sports venues.

Director-general of General Administration of Sports of China Liu Peng stressed that the increase of mass demand for sports and insufficiency of the supply of sports resources are a pair of principal contradiction in the development of Chinese sports. The aim of public sports services is to ensure the basic supply of sports resources.

Government or sports organizations in charge

Director-general of the Sports Bureau of Yunnan Yang Ning said that the public's demand for sports is far stronger than the service ability of governments. The governments play a leading role in the public sports services but are not the only supplier, so it needs more suppliers. Director-general of the Sports Bureau of Anhui Feng Chao said that the governments and for-profit and non-profit social organizations should jointly provide sports services, benefitting the public by increasing the quantity and improving quality and structure. The pubic sports services must be equal in distribution and convenient, regular and diversified, and the ultimate goal is to raise the happiness index of the people.

China is a vast country and has different problems of public sports services. Despite the current conditions, "Developing physical culture and sports and enhancing People's physical fitness" is the tenet of sports industry and purpose of public sports services.

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