China improves human rights of people with disabilities through sports

(Xinhua) 09:24, March 04, 2022

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Participation in sports is an important element of the right to subsistence and development for those with disabilities, China said on Thursday in a white paper on parasports, the first of its kind in the country.

Developing parasports plays a vital role in encouraging people with disabilities to improve their self-esteem, confidence, independence and strength, and pursue self-improvement, according to the document titled "China's Parasports: Progress and the Protection of Rights."

The country's approach to parasports is a combination of well-being improvement and self-independence facilitation, and emphasizes respect for and the protection of the human rights and personal dignity of disabled people, said Lyu Yansong, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, at a press conference held to introduce the white paper.


Over past decades, China has adopted a host of measures to boost the development of parasports, securing historic progress and moving closer to the goals of equality, participation and sharing, Lyu said.

Sports for people with disabilities have been incorporated into rehabilitation services. Governments at all levels have carried out sports rehabilitation and fitness activities.

The participation rate in grassroots cultural and sports activities for people with disabilities in China has skyrocketed from 6.8 percent in 2015 to 23.9 percent in 2021, according to the white paper.

Rehabilitation and fitness services for people with disabilities continue to improve in China, the white paper said.

As of 2020, a total of 10,675 accessible sports venues had been built nationwide, 125,000 instructors trained, and 434,000 households home to an individual with a severe disability had been provided with home-based rehabilitation and fitness services.

The country is working on an accessible environment in sports, renovating sports venues and facilities to make them more accessible for people with disabilities.

Beijing, for instance, has modified 336,000 facilities and sites since 2019, the white paper said.


The Beijing 2022 Paralympics has given a boost to winter parasports in China, according to Wang Meimei, vice president of the executive board of the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

China's successful bid for the Games in 2015 generated great opportunities for the development of the country's Winter Paralympic sports, Wang said at the same press conference.

From 2015 to 2021, the number of Winter Paralympic sports in China increased from two to six, and the number of athletes increased from fewer than 50 to nearly 1,000, Wang said.

More and more people with disabilities are realizing their dreams and achieving remarkable improvements in their lives through sports.

Hu Haitao, a member of a hearing-impaired skiing team in southwest China's Sichuan Province, first put his feet into skis in November 2018.

In just three months, he had won bronze at the 2019 national games for people with disabilities, and pocketed two silvers two years later.

His teammate Yang Changrong ranked second in a juvenile skiing competition in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan, in 2021.

The 11-year-old girl braced herself to share her dream with her classmates.

"I like skiing. And I want to compete like Olympic champions," she said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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