Winter sports will soon be required for students attending primary and middle schools in Beijing. The announcement was made on Thursday during the 2016 International Winter Sports (Beijing) Exposition, which was held in the capital last week, CRIENGLISH reports.
According to Sun Xuecai, the director of the Beijing Sports Bureau, students will be required to practice an ice or snow sport for at least one hour every week. Because winter sports have been slow to take off in China, the goal is to help cultivate a generation of winter sport athletes in Beijing.
The push for promoting winter sports in the capital comes in the wake of the announcement that Beijing and Zhangjiakou will host the 2022 Winter Olympics, a first in China.
In preperation for the Winter Games, numerous schools around the capital have already been outfitted with ice rinks and ski simulators. In the past year, professional athletes have frequently been invited to teach Beijing’s kids the ins and outs of snow and ice sports.
There are also plans in place to develop new ski resorts in the city’s suburban areas and build new ice rinks in multiple districts downtown. According to Sun, the Beijing government will build 16 indoor and 50 outdoor rinks by 2022.
[Image via Xinhua]