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Fusion of Student, Youth Games kicks off

By ZHAO YIMENG in Beijing and SHI RUIPENG in Nanning | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-07 10:01
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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]

A total of 20,360 athletes from 101 delegations will participate in China's first Student (Youth) Games that kicked off in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Sunday.

Lasting until Nov 15, the games feature 39 sports and 805 events in open and campus categories, according to the organizers.

Organized by the Ministry of Education, the General Administration of Sport, and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, the games are the fusion of the National Youth Games and the National Student Games, which are usually held separately.

The first Student (Youth) Games aims to deepen the integration of sports and education for youth in China, a 2020 guideline to promote the healthy development of the youth stipulated.

"The division of the open and campus categories in the games marks a great move of the integration of youth and student sports," Lu Yiwen, a senior official of the organizing committee of the games, said at a news conference on Sunday.

On Monday, Team Nanning scored victory in the roller derby final at the games. The team won the first double championships for both men and women.

Lan Peipei, 12, the youngest member of the women's roller derby team for Nanning, said she had been preparing for the games after class for seven months.

"I am so nervous and excited to win the championship in my home city," Lan said.

The middle school student practiced roller skating for three years to improve physical fitness and joined the Guangxi roller derby team in April.

"Though we have regular training for the sport, I still focus on school work and didn't ask for leave due to practice," Lan said, adding that she has been practicing roller skating in her spare time.

Lan said she got the highest score among her peers in the Chinese exam for entering middle school.

"I asked for leave to participate in the games and it's time for me to catch up on my homework," Lan said.

Huang Xiaozhong, Lan's coach, said the team's next goal is the National Roller Skating Championships next year.

Some competitions for the games started in July at various venues.

Many of the athletes have already taken part in international and domestic competitions, including the Chengdu University Games and the Hangzhou Asian Games.

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