China to build 2,000 fitness facilities by 2025

Workers in Hebei Province are moving new fitness equitments. (Photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- China has planned to build 2,000 fitness facilities, including sports parks, across the country by 2025, a Chinese sports official said on Wednesday.

The country will also complete 5,000 projects addressing weaknesses in sports and fitness facilities at the township level, said Li Jianming, deputy director of China's General Administration of Sport, at a press conference regarding a newly-released guideline on building a higher-level public service system for fitness and physical activity.

Priority should be given to allocating resources to ensure that urban and rural residents can enjoy equal access to basic public services, with policy-making weighted toward the country's western regions, rural areas and areas with difficult financial conditions, Li added.

The guideline emphasizes efforts on promoting social sports organizations and community-level fitness, and bringing more of the benefits of competitive sports to everyone, according to Zhao Chenxin, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission.

It also highlights protecting the sports rights and interests of the elderly, the disabled and other vulnerable groups, promoting more participation of all age groups in sports, Zhao said.

By 2025, the per capita area of sports venues in China is expected to reach 2.6 square meters, while 38.5 percent of the population will be taking part in regular exercise, the document said, adding that by 2035, the participation rate should exceed 45 percent.