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China's youth taking up sailing, encouraged by league competition, training

By Song Mengxing ( China Daily )

Updated: 2017-07-19

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Some 140 young sportsmen attended a national sailboat youth club league match in Qingdao, Shandong province, from July 14 to 16, the latest sign that the sport of sailing is catching on across China. The young people were from 16 clubs in 12 cities, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Dalian, Nanjing and Suzhou.

This year, the match has its branch competitions in five cities and the final contest will take place at the end of the year. The first branch match was held in Shanghai in April and the second was in Qingdao.

A traditional sailboat match in Shinan district in Qingdao was also held along with the youth club competition. The traditional match, which started in 2006, joined the youth club competition last year, said Lu Xuemei, deputy director at Shinan's education and sports bureau.

Lu said officials hope the event will encourage more people to participate in the sport of sailing and promote its development.

Adult teams and family sailboat groups from Shinan district attended the event. Adult team players are staff members from government agencies and companies while family participants comprise parents and children who are all middle and primary school students in Shinan.

Their participation in the event is important for the district to popularize sailing as a sport, local officials said.

They said the district has been committed to developing the sport based on the influence of the 2008 Olympics sailing regatta and its coastal location since the competition was hosted in Qingdao in 2008.

The district has employed professional coaches to teach sailboat skills to primary and middle school students. This year, it launched a pilot activity in which eight schools provided classroom sailboat knowledge training and practical training seaside.

To date, more than 6,000 primary and middle school students in Shinan have received sailboat knowledge and skill training, and 22 schools in the district have become city-level sailboat schools.

China's youth taking up sailing, encouraged by league competition, training