Olympics win spurs schools to embrace new opportunities
Updated: 2016-02-29 08:08
By Lei Lei(China Daily)
Winning the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games has reinvigorated China's winter sports scene as schools across the country embrace cold weather activities to enhance students' physical education.
Spending part of their winter holiday at one of the Olympics venues has been an enlightening experience for students from Tsinghua University High School-Shangdi in Beijing. As part of the school's winter camp activities in January, 80 students and teachers visited Changchengling Ski Resort in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, to learn how to ski and gain knowledge about the Olympics.
All 68 students participating in the camp improved their skiing abilities to a medium-advanced level after practicing four hours every day with trainers at the resort, according to the school's executive principal Xin Ying.
"Students are getting more interested in winter sports given that China will host the 2022 Olympics. We will purposely introduce more education initiatives to echo the country's plan of promoting winter sports participation," Xin said.
One of the selling points of Beijing's winning bid was the Chinese government's target of promoting winter sports to 300 million people en route to hosting the Olympics in six years.
Since winning the bid at the 128th International Olympic Committee Session last July, Beijing has selected seven schools in its northwestern suburb district Yanqing and 10 in downtown district Haidian to offer winter sports classes as part of school PE curricula.
The No 2 Primary School in Yanqing, where part of the snow events are proposed to be held in 2022, has organized skiing camps for students annually since 2014 at the nearby Shijinglong Ski Resort, which provides trainers and facilities financially supported by the local education department.
Every student signing up for the course has to finish five two-hour training sessions each winter at the resort to master basic skiing skills, said Li Jun, vice-principal of the school.
"Through taking part in skiing courses, our students have a better understanding of winter sports, which they have barely participated in previously. The training helps improve their physical conditions while toughening their minds," said Li.
According to Fang Sen, president of Jundushan Ski School on the northern outskirts of Beijing, all of the 10 skiing training camps targeting children were fully booked by parents and schools this winter holiday.
The number of student participants had increased by 40 percent when compared with the 2014-2015 snow season.
Sun Xiaochen contributed to this story.
Children practice their skills at Yuyang International Ski Resort in Beijing. Ju Huanzong / Xinhua
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