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China's inaugural Student (Youth) Games officially opens

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-11-06 09:39
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This photo shows a view of the opening ceremony of the first Student (Youth) Games of China in Nanning of south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Nov 5, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

NANNING, China -- Gathering some 18,000 young players' athletic capabilities and aspirations for the future, China's first Student (Youth) Games opened here on Sunday night at the Guangxi Sports Center.

Chinese State Councilor Shen Yiqin declared the Games Open, marking the first time that south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region has hosted a national comprehensive sports event.

The opening ceremony reached its pinnacle when torchbearers Huang Yaqing and Lan Xingyu lit the cauldron, as the flame represented environmental protection and youthful vigor.

The 70-minute ceremony was intended to promote the concept of integrating sports and education, with 101 delegations from across China showing their flags before the performance.

The Games is the result of a merger of the National Youth Games and the National Student Games as part of China's endeavor to improve the country's youth sports system, which is stated in a 2020 guideline on deepening the integration of sports and education to promote the healthy development of China's youth.

In the past, campus and professional youth sports competitions were separately held in China, and many students had to give up their studies in order to become professional athletes. The initiative to host the Games is widely seen as a major step forward.

Liu Ning, secretary of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, expressed his welcome and gratitude to all the participants.

"On the occasion of the first Student (Youth) Games, the 57 million people of Guangxi would like to give a warm welcome to the leaders and honorable guests, as well as all the athletes, coaches, and referees," Liu said.

Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng stated that the Games provides a platform for youth to chase dreams.

"Youths and students are the most energetic group in a country, and their physical fitness and vigor are an important manifestation of the nation's vitality and a symbol of civilization's growth in the society," said Huai.

"After meticulous planning, the first Student (Youth) Games opens today, bringing together the youth and their dreams," he added.

Organized by the Ministry of Education, the General Administration of Sports, and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, the Games will take place from November 5 to 15, featuring 39 sports, 51 disciplines and 805 events in open and campus categories.

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