by sportswriter Luo Yu
GUIYANG, China, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — With lights shedding from above, Zhu Qinsong, a 40-year-old villager, makes a jump shot from the free-throw line.
“I have not played basketball for more than a month, just because the basketball court was occupied for the village’s basketball tournament, which ended several days ago,” he said.
Zhu lives in Datun village, in the city of Anshun, SW China’s Guizhou province. The “tournament” he mentioned is a series of basketball competitions his village hosts every four years over the past three decades.
“Nobody could exactly recall the date of the first tournament, but I know that it has been held every four years since it was in the 1980s,” said Zhu Qinzheng, the village secretary, adding that this year’s tournament is the 17th.
In recent years, the tournament has attracted about 70-80 basketball teams from around the province, as well as spectators coming from near and far. “The tournament, usually lasting for nearly a month, is held in spring festivals, but it was postponed this year into the autumn because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the secretary added.
This year’s tournament attracted around 10,000 spectators per night.
The village has more than 2,600 residents, whose demands for basketball playing have been proliferating in recent years. The present court is a newly-constructed one, which was just finished at the end of last year.
“It puts on a whole new look and might be the best in this area as we spent more than one million yuan (more than 146,000 U.S. dollars) building it,” the secretary said that every night except rainy days, witnesses villagers play basketball on the court.
According to the secretary’s observations, as the lives of the villagers have been getting much better, they are more concerned about their physical health and have grown enormous demands for sports exercise, basketball-playing included.
“We have decided to host the tournament from every four years to every year to meet their demands,” he said, emphasizing that hosting the basketball tournament could also stimulate rural consumption.
“When people come to our village to participate in the tournament or to watch the competitions, they spend money on accommodation or goods, which benefits the local businesses,” he added. Enditem