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广州市大力发展基层足球,社区足球场的建设,有利于促进基层足球的发展

来源:市体育局 发布时间: 2016-02-24 08:34:00 阅读次数:- 字体大小:

2月23日,中国日报 第六版 刊登了《广州市大力发展基层足球,社区足球场的建设,有利于促进基层足球的发展》以下为英文原文:

    

Soccer development is the latest goal for China’s sports authorities

 

The government plans to build more facilities across the country and provide more funding for a program that aims to make the country a leading player in the globe’s most popular game. Qiu Quanlin reports from Guangzhou.

    

Former national team midfielder Peng Weiguo (center) leads a team of retired players in a community match at the Yanzigang Sports Center in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Saturday. (QIU QUANLIN/CHINA DAILY)

    

Situated in a congested downtown area that's home to a number of wholesale markets and hardware stores in the Baiyun district of Guangzhou, Chalong Primary School has never had the facilities or space to allow the students to play soccer.

    

"Children were unable to play the game in the school because of the lack of soccer pitches and other facilities," Huang Jieping, the head teacher said.

    

However, the situation is likely to change this semester, after a new ground near the school came into operation late last year. "We are talking with the operators to allow the students to use the soccer field," Huang said.

    

The field, which was laid in November, is one of dozens built in Guangzhou's residential communities last year with the financial support of the local government. The cost of construction was about 1 million yuan ($153,300), roughly 600,000 yuan of which was provided by the local sports authorities. The remainder was paid by the Chalong residential community committee, which also provided the land. "We plan to open soccer training courses during the semester to allow more children to participate in soccer," Huang added.

    

Soccer is big news in the city, which is the provincial capital and home to Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, five-time champions of the Chinese Super League and twice winners of the AFC Champions League. Last year, the city authorities completed construction of 34 new soccer fields, aiming to boost the sport among local communities and schools. The fields, which were mainly funded by the city government, are designed for both seven- and five-a-side games, and the authorities have encouraged greater public use by charging reduced rents for using them.

    

"Soccer facilities within residential areas are of great importance in the plan to attract more people, especially younger students, to soccer," Huang said.

    

Preferential policies

    

According to the Guangzhou government's work plan on the development of soccer issued this year, a series of preferential policies will be introduced, including reduced charges for community soccer fields. In Chalong, local residents are already allowed to use the new pitch free of charge. The Guangzhou plan follows hard on the heels of a national program to boost the game's popularity and encourage greater participation.

    

In January, officials at a work meeting about the development of local sports decided that next year the Guangzhou sports authority will build 26 more small-sized soccer fields in residential areas.

    

On a wider scale, as part of the "Chinese Dream" envisioned by President Xi Jinping, the government has announced a program to reform soccer and boost the development of the sport. The aim is to catch up with major international programs and players in the near future.

    

The plan has been received with enthusiasm, especially as Chinese soccer is still on a high after two high-profile foreign signings. This month, Jiangsu Suning paid 50 million euros ($55.5 million), a Chinese record, to sign Alex Teixeira, a Brazilian international, while in January, the same club paid 25 million pounds ($35.7 million) for Ramires, also from Brazil.

    

China's first soccer textbook, produced in separate editions to suit students in kindergarten, and the middle and higher grades, has also been published nationwide.

    

Ramires (top) and Alex Teixeira (above) attend training sessions in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, this month. (REUTERS AND PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

    

"The lower levels are crucial for building sports cognition, interests and skills. We will recruit teachers who specialize in soccer to cultivate the students' interest in the sport," Huang said.

    

According to the local soccer development plan, by the end of next year, Guangzhou will have built 500 schools for more than 50,000 students, and they will all have a strong focus on soccer.

    

"This bold plan will only be realized by building more soccer pitches both in schools and residential communities," said Liu Wensheng, an official with the Baiyun district sports bureau, who admitted that the task will be not an easy one, given that the facilities are costly to build and require large amounts of land.

    

In Guangzhou, one of the pilot cities for the reforms, most of the pitches laid in the past two years are located in parks or on undeveloped urban land, often far from the downtown.

    

Land earmarked for soccer cannot be used for other commercial purposes and must only be used for soccer pitches for at least five years, according to Liu.

    

Last year, three new pitches, including the one in Chalong, were built in Baiyun district. "They were built or upgraded on unused public spaces, but it's really difficult to find these areas in the downtown areas," he said. He added that it's almost impossible to find land suitable for the development of soccer facilities in the downtown of a city that has long given priority to commercial buildings.

    

The construction of sports facilities, especially soccer fields, must be included in the city's overall urban expansion plan, Liu said. "New pitches can be built on farmland in the suburbs," he said, noting that three new facilities will be built in Baiyun next year.

    

The Guangzhou sports authority said the city has 977 soccer pitches, covering an area of more than 550 hectares, which equates to 0.76 pitches for every 10,000 people. That's far below the per capita rate of the global powerhouses of the game, though. In London, for example, the rate is four pitches for every 10,000 residents.

    

Also, less than 40 percent of Guangzhou's soccer fields are open to the public, while more than 80 percent are controlled by the educational authorities.

    

"More school fields should be opened to the public," said Liu, who suggested the city government subsidize soccer facilities for the public rather than simply building new fields, because a number of soccer grounds are owned by private developers.

    

"Higher rental fees are often charged for these grounds. The government should subsidize services provided by private operators or help to upgrade facilities such as these to ensure lower user costs. Lower rental costs would encourage more people to participate in soccer," he added.

    

Students display their skills at the R&F Soccer School in Meizhou, Guangdong, in 2013. (QIU QUANLIN/CHINA DAILY)

    

Grassroots development

    

A national survey of sporting venues recently concluded that the dearth of grassroots soccer facilities across the country, especially in schools and communities, has hampered the sport's development.

    

Xie Liang, a veteran soccer commentator for Radio Guangdong, said the slow growth of new grounds, reflected by the relatively small increase in ground area in the past decade, has raised concerns because the country is desperately trying to encourage more people to play the game.

Citing the sixth national survey on sporting venues and facilities, released by the General Administration of Sport in late 2014, Xie said the governing body of sports, the educational authorities and urban planning departments need to coordinate their efforts.

    

"Building soccer fields, whether small or large, is costly in terms of funding and the use of urban land. The relevant authorities need to cooperate to ensure a long-term plan to improve facilities," Xie said.

    

According to the survey, from 2004 to 2014, more than 7,000 soccer pitches were built nationwide, covering about 21 million square meters, a per capita rise of just 0.02 sq m.

    

"One of the most efficient solutions would be to produce preferential policies to encourage real estate developers to build smaller soccer fields in residential communities," Xie said.

    

Wang Jun, secretary-general of the NGO Guangzhou Soccer Promotion Association, said simply laying new fields will not be enough to enable China to become a major player in global soccer. "The country should boost the number of people playing soccer by launching more events to help develop public interest in the sport, especially among children," he said.

    

In the latest move, the association teamed up with local sportswear maker Guangzhou Ucan Sports to organize a community soccer tournament on Feb 20.

    

The presence of a group of retired well-known professionals, including former national team players Mai Chao and Peng Weiguo, attracted hundreds of locals to the tournament, held at the Yanzigang Sports Center, the city's landmark soccer venue.

    

"Developing people's interest in soccer is critical for the game's promotion in China. We will launch more promotional events at the grassroots level to grow public interest in the sport," Wang said.


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