Photo taken on June 14, 2016 shows eight-year-old Liu Guobin (R) and seven-year-old Zhang Fujun posing for a photo with footballs in their hands at a primary school of Baidiaoling Village in Loufan County, north China's Shanxi Province. In some rural areas of Shanxi, schools are lack of physical education facilities, yet children there enjoy the fun of sports through even rope skipping or just a rubber band. (Xinhua/Zhan Yan)

China's first Winter Olympic champion Yang Yang said she recently submitted a proposal to the country's top political advisory body, calling for more community sports facilities for children.

BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China's first Winter Olympic champion Yang Yang said on Monday that she recently submitted a proposal to the country's top political advisory body, calling for more community sports facilities for children.

Yang, a member of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, said this year she focused on the problem of insufficient sports space and facilities for children in communities as "people have all seen how important sport and physical activities are for physical and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Photo taken on June 14, 2016 shows eight-year-old Liu Guobin playing rope skipping at a primary school of Baidiaoling Village in Loufan County, north China's Shanxi Province. In some rural areas of Shanxi, schools are lack of physical education facilities, yet children there enjoy the fun of sports through even rope skipping or just a rubber band. (Xinhua/Zhan Yan)

"I think we should pay more attention to community sport," Yang, who is also vice president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said that community sport for children could not be ignored during the fitness-for-all campaign in China and especially during the current pandemic crisis.

"Young people's fitness cannot only rely on physical activities in school. Community sport could also play an important role," the mother of two children said.

Yang noted that the existing sport facilities in the community are mainly designed to be used by adults and even the elderly, while the facilities for children, especially preschool ones, are very few.

"Children could get injured when using unsuitable sports facilities," Yang said. "The government should set standards on sport facilities and guide the construction and use of sports facilities for children."

The former International Olympic Committee (IOC) member also said that a community sport culture could be developed in a way that parents and volunteers all involved.

A pupil kicks a football into the sky at Hongxing Village Elementary School in Nanmu Township of Youyang Tu and Miao Autonomous County, southwest China's Chongqing, Sept. 23, 2015. The Hongxing Village Elementary School, which has only 12 first-grade pupils and one teacher, has long been lack of sports facility. A charitable organization in April contributed footballs, goals and pitch fences to the school, which have brought joy to the pupils. (Xinhua/Yang Min)

"I would like my children to play with other kids and be guided by experienced sports instructors more professionally," Yang said, picturing a community playground where children can climb, slide and swing, and they can also play basketball, football, and badminton in the community as they grow up. And some facilities can also be used by adults.

"In this way, children can cultivate the habit of doing sport from an early age, establish a sense of rules and learn to cooperate and compete," she added. 

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