SZ becoming city of sport

Writer: Richard Han  |  Editor: Jane Chen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2020-09-03

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. To mark the occasion, we are publishing a series of reports celebrating the city's achievements in different aspects over the past four decades.

On Aug. 23, 2011, the 26th Summer Universiade, the first grand international sports meet ever held in the city, drew to a close. Nine years later, as Shenzhen is marking its 40th anniversary, the city has become an active area where around 500 sports events including high-level international sports events, high-level professional club events and local-brand sports events, are held every year.

Shenzhen is stepping forward to be a capital of sport.

In 2019, the Women's Tennis Association held its opening and finals in Shenzhen as part of its tournament tours in China. A game of Trophee des Champions (French Super Cup) was held at Shenzhen Universiade Sport Center.

The French Football League and Kaisa Culture and Sports Group signed a six-year contract for the development of Ligue 1 Conforama in China. The deal resulted in several events of Trophee des Champions that will take place in Shenzhen between 2020 and 2023.

In professional sports, Shenzhen hosts the events of Chinese Football Association Super League and Chinese Basketball Association. The China Cup International Regatta has become an influential brand event.

"Shenzhen sets aside about 200 million yuan (US$29 million) a year to support sports and some events," Wang Zhiqiang, an official with Shenzhen's sports and tourism administration, said.

When the special economic zone was established 40 years ago, the city had no standard athletic field. In 1984 when Shenzhen Sports Training School was established, there were no training fields, and facilities for living were very poor. The coaches and students had to live in the temporary sheds at the construction sites of Shenzhen Stadium.

With the improvement of sports facilities, the city participate in international sports events. In 1993 when Shenzhen Stadium was put into use, international soccer matches were held.

The sports facilities were greatly improved after Shenzhen won the hosting rights of 2011 Summer Universiade in 2007. High-level sports facilities were planned and constructed across the city including Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Longgang and Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Nanshan District.