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Feature: Online sports meetings enrich physical education of Chinese students
From:Xinhua  |  2020-05-06 21:29

TAIYUAN, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Over the past few days, 11-year-old Gao Jiayuan has spent half an hour every day practicing body circles with his basketball and lying leg raises.

He is preparing for an online sports meeting this May Day holiday.

"Later this month we will return to school. I want to win a prize so that I can brag to my classmates when meeting them in person after this four-month-long vacation," said Gao, who is a fifth grader in Bayi primary school in Taiyuan city, north China's Shanxi Province.

With temperatures rising but not too hot, the end of April is a prime time for Chinese schools to organize spring sports meetings.

However, due to epidemic prevention and control concerns, most primary and secondary schools have been suspended. But in some cities, school spring sports meeting managed to continue, albeit online.

Bayi primary school officials explained that the online sports meeting program asks parents to film their kids when performing assigned exercises, including rope skipping and burpees, and then submit it to teachers for grading and awarding.

"Participants for traditional sports meeting is limited, but this time, everyone is encouraged to join in. My two kids have been enthusiastic about it for the past few days," said Gao's mother Du Juan.

In the playground of Xinjianlu primary school, two PE teachers video-taped push-ups with alternated clapping and then sent it to their class group.

"This activity requires one student and one parent to clap each other's hand when they do push-up, which helps to enhance their core and arm strength," said Ren Jing, a PE teacher with the school, noting that teachers have developed different exercises for students in each grade.

Xinjianlu primary school extended the online meeting to two weeks to encourage participants to give their best performance, according to Feng Hexia, the school principal.

"Our philosophy with this sports meeting was 'compare yourself with the standard, not with others'. Anyone who can reach the standard will be given a digital award," said Feng.

"The rise of online sports meeting shows that Chinese schools are now focusing on students' integrated development instead of simply test scores. Not only it helps to strengthen the student's body, but cultivates a healthy lifestyle," said Xiong Bingqi, deputy dean of 21st Century Education Research Institute.

As the pandemic gets under control in China, schools will resume classes gradually. "Schools should continue to attach importance to physical education in daily teaching and implement the educational philosophy of 'health comes first'," Xiong said. Enditem