Grassroots sports to be promoted

Updated: 2011-09-23 07:50

By Lei Lei (China Daily)

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Grassroots sports to be promoted

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Comittee, speaks during an exclusive interview with China Daily on the sidelines of the 14th World Conference on Sport for All in Beijing, Sept 22, 2011. [Photo by Wu Chuanjing/]

It's pretty simple - China is a big country, so China should play a big role in world sports.

The world's top sports official hailed China's role in promoting sports among common people on Thursday.

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is in Beijing for the 14th World Conference on Sport for All.

"China's role is very important because of the size of your population," Rogge told China Daily. "That's very important in terms of promoting sport for all.

"China is doing a very good job in this. You have two aspects. One is that in your traditional culture and traditions, you have the sport for all. Taichi is a good example. Then you have also the practice of other sports, which is very stimulated by your government. I think a good job is being done."

Rogge said the IOC is going to its own great lengths to promote athletics among common people.

"The IOC is redistributing 94 percent of its revenues to the development of sports, and we do this mostly in the developing countries, because they need most of the money," Rogge said.

"This has led to very good development of sport throughout the world. We're also supporting very much, of course, the elite sports in the Olympic Games and also Sport for All - that's the reason why we are having a congress here."

The president said he didn't make a distinction between professional sport and amateur sports since "sport is for everyone".

"Sport is as well for Yao Ming as for the young child in the streets," he said.

"Of course, it is practiced by different people. What's important is that the country develops as much as possible with sport as the basis.

"We have to develop as much as possible sport for all, because the more people who participate in sports, the more champions we will have. The champions come out of the people."