On July 12, at the opening press conference for the 14th National Student Games (NSG) being held in Qingdao, the MOE presented details of this year’s event and introduced new measures that the Ministry was planning to implement to support physical education reform. The press conference was attended by Wang Dengfeng, Director-General of the MOE’s Department of Physical, Health and Arts Education, Xue Yanqing, Secretary-General of the Joint Secretariat of the Student Sports Association under the MOE, Secretary-General of the Organizing Committee of the 14th NSG, and Han Dong, Deputy Director of Qingdao Education Bureau.
Wang first introduced details of this year’s NSG which saw the participation of approximately 14,000 people, including 33 teams and 7,200 athletes, 1,200 referees, 3,000 volunteers and 2,600 staff, as well as a group of experts attending an NSG related parallel research conference. He said that this event highlighted the importance of sports in talent cultivation, demonstrated the positive outcomes of the national fight against the COVID-19, and represented the start of a new wave of physical education reform.
He said that the next NSG, to be held in 2023 in Guangxi province, would be integrated with the National Youth Games to become the first National Student (Youth) Games. Evolutions in the scale of national sports games—which began by integrating individual secondary and higher education level games, and was followed by the merging of the former two with youth-level games—reflected continuous improvements in physical education across the country.
Wang noted that more work needed to be done in three aspects: i. raise the quality of PE lessons, to include dissemination of health-related knowledge and acquisition of various basic and specific skills; ii. ensure each student had at least one hour of PE in school and one hour of exercise out of school every day; and iii. organize competitions at all levels (within and between classes, in and between schools and at national level) and ensure that every student had a way to participate.
The 14th NSG organizing committee declared that this year’s games had been jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Education, the General Administration of Sport and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, and jointly organized by the Shandong Provincial Department of Education and the Qingdao Municipal People’s Government. It was the highest-level student sports event in the country. Due to the impact of the COVID-19, the event represented the successful culmination of three years’ careful preparation and efforts to overcome difficulties.