According to Ecns.cn, Beijing is committed to shaping the “ice hockey image”over the next six years through continuously enhancing the standard ofcompetitive winter sports. New winter venues and facilities will be built alongwith 100 dedicated winter sports schools. Efforts will be made to ensure that revenuefrom the winter sports industry reaches around RMB 40 billion by 2022, with thenumber of winter sports participants reaching 8 million.
Beijingofficially released the Opinions onAccelerating Winter Sports Development (2016-2017) on the 7th, alongwith seven complementary plans. The “1+7” document is the first winter sportsdevelopment planning to be released in the name of a local government in China,detailing the blueprint for winter sports industry in Beijing in 2022.
According to Sun Xuecai, Director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports,for the first time, the document has detailed the seven core tasks related toice and snow in Beijing over the next six years, namely mass ice and snow,competitive ice and snow, youth ice and snow, winter sports industry, wintersporting events, winter venues and facilities and winter sports talent.
He also mentioned that the development of winter sports in Beijing mighthave been going on for a while, but the foundation was ‘poor and weak’. Thecomprehensive developmental planning for ice and snow would enable theformation of a more extensive winter sports service system by 2022, laying a solidfoundation for the successful staging of the Winter Olympics.
Meanwhile, Beijing will perfect several of its policies on finance, taxationand pricing, land planning, and talent and employment, so as to create afavourable environment for the development of winter sports.
On the question of why ice hockey was chosen as the “image” forrepresentation, Sun explained that ice hockey was the most-developed wintersporting event in Beijing at the moment and had the strongest foundation.Currently, Beijing has 15 ice hockey clubs with nearly 2,000 young players from116 teams. The city is also busy in negotiations for introducing high-level ice-hockeyevents, such as National Hockey League matches. Efforts will be made for creatinga youth ice hockey circle, comprising Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province and northeastChina. Moreover, professional ice hockey clubs will be fostered for enthusiasticallyshaping the “ice hockey image”.
When asked about expanding the scale of winter sports industry, Sun saidthat Beijing would promote a collaborative model between the government and thesocial capital in areas, such as sports venue and facility operations, publicfitness service systems and mass sporting events. Furthermore, the socialcapital would be encouraged and directed to invest in the winter sportsindustry. Meanwhile, Beijing would effort for an integrated development of thewinter sports industry with other industries, such as cultural, tourism,science and technology and conference and exhibition industries, in a bid togenerate industry revenues of about RMB 40 billion by 2022, thus realising a valueaddition of RMB 8 billion.
Furthermore, Sun said that winter sports would be added to the schoolcurriculum in Beijing, while 100 dedicated winter sports schools would be builtto further popularise Winter Olympics, Games-watching etiquettes and knowledge aboutwinter sports. He added that the development of winter sports organisationswould be supported and the cultivation of winter sports talent intensified. Multiplewinter venues and facilities will be built to spark public’s enthusiasm for wintersports with the hope of getting 8 million people to participate in wintersports by 2022.
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