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Study shows that winter sports participation in China face three problems

By Zhang Tingting 26 Nov 2018

The Xinhua website reports that Chinese winter sports development is facing three challenges as shown by a study conducted by Renmin University of China. 

The three challenges are: insufficient public participation, unsatisfying amount of winter sports facilities and a lack of winter sports professionals. 

The research was conducted by the National Survey Research Center at Renmin University of China (NSRC) and is a national social and science research project that studies the development of winter sports in China among the Chinese public and relevant solutions under the background of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The research is planned to be carried out once each year from 2018 to 2022 to look at the mechanics of and the elements that affect public participation in winter sports. 

The 2018 version of the research covered 4126 verified samples (individuals) across China with results showing that participation in winter sports in different parts of China vary greatly from each other. 

In regions where winter sports are traditionally strong and popular, such as the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, as high as 42% of people take part in winter sports. In northwestern and northern provinces, the rate is 25.9% compared to 18% in the southern provinces less than half of the top provinces. 

Regarding the functions played by parents and schools, only 3.9% of middle school students receive winter sports related education at school, 14.9% of parents have taken their children to do winter sports, and less than 5% of families have children who have participated in professional winter sports. 

Deputy Director of the NSRC, Wang Weidong, comments that almost 90% of people do winter sports for fun and most people only try winter sports once in a while. Meanwhile, the lack of winter sports facilities and spaces and the lack of time spent on travelling to winter sports facilities also make it difficult to do winter sports. The report shows that 43.9% of people in the traditionally strong winter sports provinces (typically in the northeast), 67.2% in the north/northwestern provinces and 76.5% from the southern provinces can not participate due to the great distance to winter sports facilities. A lack of winter sports professionals and an uneven distribution of these professionals geographically is also a problem. 

According to the national plan for winter sports development, by 2025, there should be over 50m people doing winter sports in China with 300m people having participated in winter sports. 

Reference: Xinhua website 

Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick

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