Sports and school in China

The World

The kids playing soccer here are at a special sports camp and were sent by their parents. This kid seems to have picked up an important message, that sports is good for general health and fitness. But a more typical attitude of Chinese youths is that of this Olympic volunteer who says they have no time for sports in school. Competition to get into Chinese universities is fierce and comes down to one exam taken at the end of high school. The Director of a Beijing physical education department worries that making the grade comes at the cost of their health and fitness. The government has noticed this trend of increased obesity among kids so it’s started annual tests of physical fitness. Kids also now have to pass a physical fitness test to go from middle school to high school, but it’s been noticed that many kids are below par. The Director says that many kids stress out about the test and train for multiple months. He says the government is putting more emphasis in its curriculum on fitness and team sports. This father approves and he says it’s important for this generation to learn skills that come with playing on a team. So far, soccer, basketball, and table tennis are the sports that have caught on�but extra-curricular sports have not really caught on in China, and this scholar notes that support sports have to come from a grassroots level and that infrastructure is missing in China and the government isn’t at the point where it’s concerned about promoting it. but the government does want to make its students more well rounded.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.