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Winter sports here to stay, expansion plans show

By Sun Xiaochen | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-03 07:57

Winter sports here to stay, expansion plans show

Plans also call for expanding winter sports education to 5,000 schools by 2025.

Ren Hongguo, head of the National Winter Sports Administrative Center, said a national guide for school winter sports education is being compiled and will be released in 2018.

"The lack of training expertise, facilities and qualified staff for schools' winter sports education is a challenge that needs cross-ministry collaboration to overcome. It's good to see some progress has been made," he said.

Starting last year, Beijing has selected 18 schools in Haidian district and Yanqing as pilot schools offering winter sports training during physical education classes. The municipal sports authority is proposing to add winter sports to the mandatory curricula of the city's primary and secondary schools, though no final decision has been made.

Despite the zealous governmental push, pundits warn that the plans should be cautiously implemented with integrated thinking and planning in staff training and construction design.

"The investments in the industry are mainly made for the 2022 Olympics, but what happens after the Games?" said Yang Hua, a sports sociology expert and the Party chief of Beijing Sport University.

"To avoid a waste of resources and operational difficulties after the Olympics, local governments and property developers should take local tourism, accommodations and transportation, as well as environmental protection plans, into consideration in the bigger picture."

He Wenyi, a researcher at Peking University's Institute of Sports Science, said the governing body for sports should work with institutions and venue developers both from home and overseas to train schools' physical education teachers, winter sports event operators and service staff to make sure the industry thrives both during and after the Games.

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