Last night, the 14thWorld Conference on Sport for All (the “Conference”) kicked off at ChinaNationalConvention Center. Mr. Liu Qi, Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and President of Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Mr. Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), addressed at the opening ceremony. Besides, Liu Peng, Director of General Administration of Sport of China (GASC) and GuoJinlong, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, Mayor of Beijing Municipality and Executive President of BODA attended the opening ceremony.
Mr. Sam Ramsamy, Executive Member of the IOC and President of the IOC Sport for All Commission addressed at first. He delivered his appreciation to GASC and BeijingMunicipality for their huge efforts in organizing the Conference, and wished a great success of the Conference.
On behalf of the municipal committee, government and all citizens of Beijing, Liu gave a warm welcome to all the participants of the Conference. He said that the Conference was an important platform for the world to interpret the objectives of the Olympics, spread the concept of “sports for all”, and exchange the experience thereof. He also mentioned that hosting the Conference in China, the most populated country in the world, was of great significance for promoting mass sports, the Olympic spirit and the civilization of human beings.
Liu said that China had the tradition of carrying out mass sports, which was a key part of the traditional culture of China. Since the foundation of PRC, the Chinese government has always paid high attention to developing mass sports. Under the slogan of “Building a stronger China through sports”, the government has taken a series of measures to develop mass sports, greatly improving the physical fitness of the masses. The successful holding of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics pushed the wave of mass sports to a new high: the facilities and service of public sports places saw great improvement, and sports matter more for the masses. As the increase of people’s concern on health, sports have become an important part of their daily life. Thus mass sports have become a key factor reflecting the vitality of a city.
Liu also indicated that improving the physical fitness of people is a major task to push forward the scientific development and accelerate the economic transformation of Beijing. He said, “Holding the Conference in Beijing is a great opportunity for us to create a better sports environment for people. The experience of the rest of the world on developing mass sports can help us accelerate the construction of a healthy city and bring benefit to the people. Let’s join hands for the cause of ‘sports for all’, making a great contribution for the better life of all and the harmonious development of the human society.”
Rogge addressed, “Every time when I returned to Beijing, the holder of the Olympics, I would feel greatly honored. In fact, I visited Beijing every year after 2008, during which, I saw the sports wealth left by the Olympics for Chinese people. In China, more and more people have participated in sports, especially young people. We cannot forget that in China, mass sports have deeply rooted in people’s daily life. Therefore, we think the Beijing is the best choice to hold the 14th World Conference on Sport for All.”
Rogge continued, “Everyone shall take part in sports; what’s more, promoting the development of ‘sports for all’ has always been an important part of the Olympic Movement. The International Olympic Committee hopes that, through advocating sports among the people, preparing sports plans and providing economic supports, the vision of prospering ‘sports for all’ can be realized.”
At the opening ceremony, Rogge presented the awards of "Health and Social Benefits of Sports Activities", "Planning and Policy", and "Development and Promotion of Sport for All" which were set by the IOC for the first time as awards of mass sports.
The Psycho-Physical Rehabilitation and Social Integration of Mine Victims and Families of Mine Victims through Water Sports Flag launched by Eco Sports Group of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Performance and Exchange of Qigong in Urban and Rural China conducted by Health Qigong Management Center, GASC, and the Ethiopia-Sports Builds Bridge Program initiated by the Sports-Bridge Organization of Ethiopia won the above rewards respectively. Wonderful artistic and sports shows were presented at the opening ceremony.
The IOC Sports for All Commission was set up in 1985 when Conference was thus initiated. Since the 1st Conference was held in 1986 inCologne, Germany, it has been held twice a year. Conventionally, a manifesto named after the host city would be announced. This time, the Conference focused on interactive knowledge exchange and the sharing of the best practical experience. New contents such as introduction to cases of mass sports, and presentation of relevant awards were specially added. To impressively show participants the achievements made by China in mass sports promotion, the changes of Beijing during the course of building a world city, the brilliant Chinese culture, as well as the enthusiasm of people in Beijing, the sponsors of the Conference arranged a series of activities as such Mass Sports Photo Show, Poster Show of Excellent Mass Sports Papers, performance of morning exercise and mass sports, visit of Olympic avenues and the Night of Beijing.
IOC officials Yu Zaiqing, Thomas Bach, Huang Simian and He Zhenliang, as well as officials from relevant national and municipal agencies such as Feng Jianzhong, Lu Wei, Liu Jingmin, Wang Wei and Jiang Xiaoyu attended the opening ceremony.