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Wuxi awarded national honor for sports development

Updated : 2020-12-30

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[Photo by Shi Yu/China Daily]

Wuxi in East China's Jiangsu province was recently awarded by the General Administration of Sport of China for its efforts to develop its sports industry, local media outlets reported on Dec 29.

The award was only given to seven sports bureaus in different cities across the country. It was also the first time for Wuxi to win the award.

China's sports industry was on a fast track of steady growth before the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic. According to statistics from the General Administration of Sport of China, the industry grew at an average annual rate of 15.9 percent from 2015 to 2018, with its added value growing at an average annual rate of 22.4 percent in the same period.

More gains had been expected this year, but no one could have foreseen the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. Almost all major domestic and international sporting events were rescheduled or canceled in the first half of the year. People were reluctant to go outside and most sports companies struggled to conduct business, with several unable to survive.

According to a report on the resumption of business by the Jiangsu Province Sports Bureau, all of the 116 sports venues it surveyed closed for nearly three months, 125 fitness and training companies closed for three and a half months, while sports supplies manufacturers closed for about a month and a half.

The local government in Wuxi has provided support measures to help sports companies survive, including tax cuts and rent subsidies. The government also gave out coupons to people to restart exercise in sports venues.

Several sports facilities have also been built in urban parks and communities, allowing residents to enjoy outdoor sports activities.

In 2020, Wuxi's annual marathon had been postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic, but was successfully held later in the year on Nov 1.

Statistics showed that a total of 364,000 people have taken part in the sports event, of which participants spent $198 million on accommodation, catering, transportation, tourism, and other related service industries in the city.

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