Opinion / From the Press

Adventure sports need support

(China Daily) Updated: 2013-01-08 10:14

Two tourists died after being trapped in freezing temperatures on Lingshan Mountain on the border of Beijing and Hebei province recently, triggering mix comments online. Some netizens praised the efforts of the rescue team, while others criticized backpackers for taking undue risks and even saying that rescue operations for such "risk-takers" was a waste of taxpayers' money, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Since sports like mountaineering have been included in the Regulations on National Fitness, it is unfair to accuse hikers and mountaineers of irresponsible behavior. Only a few people in China participate in outdoor adventure and they should be extended every possible help in times of emergency.

Clubs for outdoor adventure in China have undergone rapid development in recent years, but the industry is still in nascent stage and some clubs cannot provide professional training, let alone organize rescue operations. We should learn from other countries' experiences and devise norms for China's outdoor adventure industry.

In many other countries, outdoor adventure is seen not only as an individual quest, but also as a necessary social activity. For example, for the promotion, operation and supervision of outdoor adventure, the New Zealand government offers training, education as well as official certificates. It even provides every outdoor adventure organization with funds for training.

In China, outdoor adventure deserves due support through regulation and funds for the healthy development of the people. Although people, especially tourists, should be aware of the risks involved and be fully prepared for the consequences of taking risks, the government and organizers should conduct risk assessment, make relevant regulation and help adventure seekers to avoid dangers.

(China Daily 01/08/2013 page9)

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