Asian Games venues at universities boost popularity of sports among students

(People's Daily Online) 13:29, September 29, 2023

China's Hu Jinming (R) competes in a men's handball group match at the 19th Asian Games on Sept. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Chinese athletes and a Japanese athlete (front) compete in the final of the Women's Rugby Sevens at the 19th Asian Games on Sept. 26, 2023. (People's Daily/Yi Xiao)

Chinese athletes compete in the women's team sprint track cycling at the 19th Asian Games on Sept. 26, 2023. (People's Daily/Wang Liang)

The finals of the Women's and Men's Rugby Sevens were held at Hangzhou Normal University (Cangqian Campus) in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, on Sept. 26. China's women's rugby sevens team and the men's rugby sevens team of China's Hong Kong defeated Japan and South Korea, respectively, winning gold medals.

The university's gymnasium, which can accommodate 13,000 spectators, was almost filled to capacity, and the campus was humming with the atmosphere of the Asian Games.

Six universities in Zhejiang are working to ensure the smooth execution of seven events during the 19th Asian Games, a task that fosters a love for sports among students.

According to Yu Wei, the director of the media center of the Sports and Culture Center at Zhejiang Gongshang University, the opportunity to study venue operations has been invaluable. Through training and test matches, many teachers and students have boosted their professional abilities and gained practical experience in event services.

At the gymnasium of Hangzhou Normal University (Cangqian Campus), a group of well-trained volleyball court cleaners caught the attention of many.

During match breaks, these young people who had been waiting around the court quickly rushed into action and cleaned the area.

Cao Fangping, the supervisor of the volleyball competition area, said that the students have been receiving extensive training since June. This training included physical conditioning, enhancing their observation skills, and improving their agility. The purpose of the training was to enable them to deliver top-notch services without causing any disruptions during the matches.

Additionally, the lighting, sound system, and stage design of the campus venue have left a deep impression on the audience. Popular warm-up songs often led to sing-alongs throughout the entire venue.

Among the university venues for the Asian Games, the gymnasium at Zhejiang Normal University (Xiaoshan Campus) is the only newly built venue, while the others have been renovated.

The universities adhered to the concepts of "green" and "frugality," upgrading the hardware and software of existing venues to meet the requirements of the Asian Games.

The gymnasium of Hangzhou Dianzi University underwent an upgrade and transformation three years ago before becoming an Asian Games fencing venue with five fencing strips and nearly 5,000 seats. The audience seats, which had been in service for 17 years, were renovated and reused, resulting in cost savings of about 4 million yuan ($547,548) for the renovation project.

The sports center at Zhejiang Gongshang University is the venue for handball competitions.

After renovating the venue, the university sent the wooden flooring, which had been dismantled in a protective manner, to a middle school in Chun'an county of Hangzhou and assisted in installing the floors on the cement floor of the school's gymnasium. These floors have now been used at the middle school for nearly three years, saving resources and improving the sports environment for the students.

At Zhejiang University of Technology (Pingfeng Campus), a high-quality cricket field has received praise from teams that have played on it.

To meet the cricket field’s need for clay, the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee and the venue's constructor collected 27 soil samples from various places for analysis and sent them to the Asian Cricket Council for testing. Eventually, they pinpointed the most suitable soil source.

"Because of the cricket matches held on the university campus, many students have become enthusiasts of the sport after gaining an understanding of cricket," said Zhou Jie, the media operations director of Zhejiang University of Technology (Pingfeng Campus) competition zone.

Because of the Asian Games, sports such as handball, cricket, and rugby have become selective courses for university students.

Ji Wenjing, a student from the School of Economics at Zhejiang Gongshang University, had never been exposed to handball before. Now, she has become adept at it, and says she has gained a lot from participating in sports.

"The rugby sevens matches have concluded, and the sport is starting to gain popularity on our campus," said the person in charge of event operations at Hangzhou Normal University (Cangqian Campus). "We will persist in providing rugby courses to enable more students to discover the appeal of this sport."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Hongyu)


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