A view of the core area of the Rongjiang Binhe ecological sports garden in the county of Rongjiang, in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, SW China's Guizhou province. (Xinhua/Luo Yu)
GUIYANG, China, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- For the past three years, 49-year-old teacher Wu Changjin has been able to play basketball with his friends on standard courts in his free time, since the construction of a sports garden in his county in 2017.
Wu lives in the county of Rongjiang, in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture of southwest China's Guizhou province. The Rongjiang Binhe ecological sports garden provides more sporting spaces for local residents.
"Three years ago, there were just a few basketball courts and one football pitch open to the public, and local people had to wait a long time to take turns to play. But now we have more sports fields after the completion of the sports garden," Wu said.
Residents are doing exercise in the Rongjiang Binhe ecological sports garden in the county of Rongjiang, in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, SW China's Guizhou province. (Xinhua/Luo Yu)
Covering an area of 310,000 square meters, the garden includes facilities to play basketball, badminton, volleyball and football.
"People have more options and don't need to wait a long time to take turns," Wu said, adding that he comes to the garden to play basketball every weekend.
Lin Tao, director of the county's sports training center, said that local and regional governments spent more than 100 million yuan (14.7 million U.S. dollars) building the garden just for the residents.
"About 100,000 residents live in the county center, around 30 percent of whom do daily exercise," Lin said, emphasizing that the number of people showing an interest in sports has increased in recent years.
According to statistics from the provincial sports bureau, Guizhou has built 104 ecological sports gardens over the past four years in order to meet people's workout needs.
"People in Guizhou have been aware of the importance of physical exercise as their living standards have improved along with China's economic development in recent years," an official from the bureau replied. ■