Dongguan set to stage more int'l events
Updated: 2015-05-21 07:46
By Sun Xiaochen(China Daily)
The Nissan Sports Center in Dongguan's southeastern suburbs was the main venue for the 2015 Sudirman Cup badminton championships. The city has 13,247 sports facilities of various types covering an area of 18.62 million square meters. Zhang Cuncheng / for China Daily
As an international manufacturing hub, the South China city of Dongguan has reinvented itself as a major sports events destination as well as a livable metropolis after hosting the 2015 Sudirman Cup.
During the Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton championships, which wrapped up on May 17, the hospitality of volunteers, smooth organization, first-class services and cutting-edge facilities impressed oficials, players and the media from around the world.
"I am impressed by the well-organized championships and the hospitable volunteers. Moreover, the spectacular stadium is also one of the best," said Poul-Eric Hoyer, president of the Badminton World Federation.
More than 400 athletes from 35 different countries and regions as well as 1,000 officials and reporters visited Dongguan during the tournament and many left with a positive view of the city's first international sports event.
"We are all treated very well. The coordination of organizers and services of volunteers are really helpful. The city looks clean and well afforested. It's quite an impressive experience to be playing here," German veteran player Marc Zwiebler said during the tournament. To ensure a lasting legacy and to further boost public participation in sports, the event's organizing committee initiated 50 badminton-themed sports and cultural activities including city runs and amateur competitions during the eight-day tournament.
Preparations, including city infrastructure upgrades, volunteer training and marketing initiatives, will continue to serve the city after the event, said Dongguan Mayor Yuan Baocheng.
Showcase of image
"By hosting the Sudirman Cup, Dongguan accumulated valuable experience in big event operation. The tournament also provided a window for Dongguan to demonstrate an open and vibrant city image to the whole world," said Yuan. The Nissan Sports Center was the main venue for the event in Dongguan's southeastern suburbs and has become a destination for several domestic sports competitions and entertainment shows. More international events are expected to be held in Dongguan following the success of the Sudirman Cup, said Yuan. The well-developed accommodation sector in Dongguan, which is home to 22 five-star hotels, also suggests that the city is capable of hosting bigger international events in the future, he added.
During the tournament, three media tours involving hundreds of reporters from home and abroad were organized to explore the city's booming manufacturing industry, historical heritage sites, scenic spots and sports facilities.
"The planning of urban construction was well done. Green parks and greenbelts are integrated with the buildings, roads and other urban facilities," said Yu Guohua, a reporter for Wuhan Evening News.
Thanks to the opening-up policy and its geographic advantage in the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong economic corridor, Dongguan has developed into a key manufacturing hub and a major export-driven economic center in South China.
The city's GDP hit 588.12 billion yuan ($94.8 billion) and foreign trade reached $162.53 billion in 2014, up 7.8 percent and 6.2 percent from 2013, according to official statistics. To date, foreign businesses from more than 40 countries and regions have set up about 11,000 projects in the city, with their capital input totaling $80 billion. These include 87 projects funded by 49 of the world's top 500 consortia.
With more sports events to be staged in Dongguan, the city vowed to enrich sports culture to become a versatile metropolis rather than just a manufacturing hotbed.
"Sports participation is rooted deep in people's lives in Dongguan. Well-equipped sports facilities are seen everywhere in neighborhoods and industrial parks," said Peng Qiyao, director of Dongguan city sports bureau.
Dongguan has long attached great importance to developing sports and has outpaced many other cities in China.
With 13,247 sports facilities of various types covering an area of 18.62 million square meters, the city is reputed as the nation's hometown for swimming, weightlifting, dragon boat racing and lion dancing. It is also known as the nation's cradle for snooker champions and China's basketball city.