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Fitness first during Spring Festival

By SHI FUTIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-22 09:57
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China will leap into the new year on a healthy note when a massive sports and fitness carnival takes place during Spring Festival.

The inaugural China Sports Temple Fair will debut in Sanya, Hainan province from Feb 16-22, the Chinese Lunar New Year, and will feature dozens of recreational fitness activities and over 50 sports shows.

Millions are expected to turn out for the event, which will combine sports events with traditional New Year's celebrations, in the famous tourist city, while it's estimated that around 900 million people will be involved in the fair through both online and offline activities.

The fair falls under the umbrella of the National Fitness Program for 2016-2020, which aims to encourage 700 million people to take part in physical exercise at least once a week.

"China Sports Temple Fair is a sports and fitness carnival that combines elements of our national character, charity, fashion and traditional Chinese culture," said Tu Xiaodong, director of the publicity bureau at the General Administration of Sport of China.

"The event will facilitate the development of the sports industry and the National Fitness Program, promoting sports and fitness as vital parts of a happy and healthy lifestyle."

Visitors to the event will also have the chance to meet a number of famous Chinese athletes, including Olympic table tennis champion Zhang Jike, Olympic badminton gold medalist Li Xuerui and volleyball star Hui Ruoqi.

Hui, the captain of China women's team, is promising some special treats for volleyball fans.

"I personally will come to Sanya to present a parents-children volleyball activity for families at the Temple Fair," she said.

"As an athlete, it's my responsibility to use my own influence to attract more people to sports activities, to promote sportsmanship and to be involved in sports public service."

As the strategic partner of the event, China's internet giant Alibaba and its sub-brand Juhuasuan will provide comprehensive online technical support.

"We have been working on building an ecosystem combining

the sports industry, commercial activities and entertainment content," said Jia Luo, a senior manager at Alibaba.

"The Sports Temple Fair represents the growing need and demand for sports and fitness, which provides us with a new opportunity to further promote consumption upgrade."

China has been launching all sorts of competitive and recreational events at grassroots level as part of the National Fitness Program, which is projected to reach a total investment of 1.5 trillion yuan ($226 billion).

Recent examples include the ongoing ice and snow festival at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing and the Run the Track half-marathon at Formula One's Shanghai International Circuit on Jan 1.

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