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Former volleyball coach urges mass sports development

Updated: 2012-03-05 22:28
By Yan Weijue (

As China works hard on its domestic sports industry, mass sports should not be neglected, says Chen Zhonghe, former coach of the Chinese national woman's volleyball team, on Monday.

Former volleyball coach urges mass sports development

Chen Zhonghe, a NPC deputy from Fujian attends a group meeting of the delegation at China People’s Palace in Beijing, March 5, 2012. [Yan Weijue/]

"I think the authorities are doing well at developing competitive sports," Chen said on the sideline of the Fifth session of the National People's Congress. "But the foundation for amateur sports is relatively weak."

The NPC deputy from Fujian province said a future athlete will benefit from being able to play many different types of sports when he is young.

"If you played well in ball games, you will perform well at other sports," Chen said. "So a kid's interest in sports should be cultivated rather than forcing him concentrate on only one type."

Chen has been the vice-director of the Fujian provincial sports bureau since his retirement as the head coach of the national woman's volleyball team in 2009. He said the bureau is looking into organizing a series of competitions among cities.

"I've had talks with the head of the Fujian provincial education bureau as well as other officials on it," he said. "I proposed holding competitions among cities in six sports every year."

"I think we will make that happen by the end of this year," he added.

Overwhelmed by work after becoming an official, Chen says he has been following volleyball.

"I missed the game when Guangzhou Evergrande won the championship the other day because I had to prepare for the NPC," he said before praising Lang Ping, coach of the team.

"She did her job well… and won it all," he said. "Everything happened so fast."

Speaking of the national Chinese woman's volleyball team's chances of winning a medal at the London Olympics this year, he said he is optimistic.

"They should finish in the top three," he said.

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