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Sports. ROC (Taiwan) Yearbook 2011 Ch19 sports


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From the last edition of the ROC (Taiwan) Yearbook that used to be published by the disbanded Government Information Office (GIO).

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Sports. ROC (Taiwan) Yearbook 2011 Ch19 sports

  1. 1. Steep mountains and stiff ocean breezes are an excellent recipe for paragliding, especially along the east coast.19-new-1014.indd 278 2011/10/18 2:07:12 AM
  2. 2. 19 Sports At a Glance • Athletes shine in golf and powerlifting • Stellar performance at the Asian Games • Encouraging more of the public to be physically active S ports figures from the Republic of China are being recognized internationally for their achievements at high-profile compe- titions, and the nation has in recent years been the host of a number of world sporting events. Often participating under the name “Chinese Taipei,” the nation’s top athletes are steadily build- ing a reputation for themselves in a variety of sports ranging from b ­ illiards and golf to taekwondo and powerlifting. In 2010, the nation had a very strong showing at the Asian Games; its Little and Junior League baseball teams won honors overseas; and its powerlifters continued to impress audiences the world over. In June 2011, its star golfer Yani Tseng became the youngest player ever to win four major titles. In addition to nurturing top athletes, Taiwan is ­ ncouraging all citizens to be physically active. A four-year plan to e ­ nhance Taiwan’s sports environment and promote exercise and sport is e underway, with a focus on improving citizens’ swimming ability. Having hosted the 2009 World Games and Summer Deaflympics, Taiwan is once again looking to showcase its sports environment and manage- ment efficiency. In January 2011, it held the season-ending Super ­ eries Finals for the world’s best eight badminton players and, in July, S staged for the first time ever a world baseball championship for ­ layers p 12 and under. It is also scheduled to hold a major women’s golf event in October. 27919-new-1014.indd 279 2011/10/18 2:07:12 AM
  3. 3. 19 Sports Sports Achievements founded in 1989 and, in 2003, absorbed a competing league. It currently consists Baseball of four teams: the Brother Elephants 兄 The year 1968 was a milestone for 弟象, the Uni-President Lions 統一獅, the development of baseball in Taiwan, the Sinon Bulls 興農牛 and the Lamigo when a Little League team from the re- Monkeys Lamigo 桃猿 (previously the La mote indigenous village of Hongye 紅葉 New Bears La New 熊). The teams play in Taitung County 臺東縣 twice defeated a regular season of 120 games. In 2010, a championship team from Japan. In the the Brother Elephants took the cham- following 27 years from 1969 to 1996, pionship title for the seventh time in the Taiwan won 17 Little League World CPBL’s 21-year history. Series championships—a number sec- Overall, professional baseball in ond only to the United States. Thanks T ­ aiwan has lost many players to larger, to this, baseball became a national pas- more developed markets. Prominent ex- time. The year 2010 also proved fruitful amples include pitcher Kuo Hong-chih for Taiwan’s teams in the international 郭泓志, now with the U.S. Major League arena (see table “Performance in Interna- Baseball team Los Angeles Dodgers; and tional Baseball Competitions, 2010”). pitcher Chen Wei-yin 陳偉殷, currently In July 2011, Taipei City 臺北市 hosted with the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon the inaugural 12U Baseball World Cham- Professional Baseball league. pionship. Teams from 14 countries and territories took part in the event. And in Reviving the National Pastime late July, the 2011 World Children’s Base- Concern over the decline of this sport ball Fair began in Kaohsiung City 高雄市. has prompted the government to take ac- Many of the players representing tion to help Taiwan live up to its full poten- Taiwan in international events regu- tial and regain the glory of days past, when larly play for teams associated with the teams brought home a bronze and a silver Chinese Professional Baseball League medal from the 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 (CPBL) 中華職棒大聯盟. The CPBL was Barcelona Olympic Games, respectively. The Taiwanese team that won the 2010 IBAF World Junior Baseball Championship celebrates upon returning to Taichung City. (Central News Agency) 28019-new-1014.indd 280 2011/10/18 2:07:15 AM
  4. 4. The Sports Affairs Council (SAC) 行 de Basketball, this annual competition 政院體育委員會 has launched a plan to re- was first organized in 1977. Since the vitalize this sport with an investment of tournament’s founding, over 50 countries NT$1.02 billion (US$32.40 million) over have participated. In 2010, teams from a four-year period between 2010 and Iran, Lebanon, Japan, the Philippines, 2013. The largest portion—45 percent— Australia, the Republic of Korea and of the budget will be allocated to the devel- Khazakstan competed. Taiwan fielded opment of players from the elementary to two squads in the men’s tournament—the the collegiate levels. About 38 percent will ROC-A team, which finished fifth, and be spent on 10 to 12 amateur teams—to the University All-Stars 大專明星男籃隊, be formed by government agencies, state- which placed sixth among seven compet- run enterprises and private corporations— ing teams. The women’s team fell to the to help develop a larger talent pool for ROK in the finals, ending up in the No. 2 international competition. The Ministry spot among the four contenders. of Education (MOE) has also earmarked The nation’s first professional bas- NT$1 billion (US$31.61 million) to fund ketball league was the Chinese Basket- baseball development at schools. ball Alliance 中華職業籃球聯盟, founded in 1993 and disbanded in 2000. Three years later, the Super Basketball League Basketball 超級籃球聯賽 was formed. It currently Following the Republic of China gov- includes a men’s league of seven teams ernment’s relocation to Taiwan in 1949, and a women’s league of six teams. The the government and military organized seven men’s teams are Taiwan Beer 臺 tournaments and built many of the island’s 灣啤酒, Yulon Luxgen 裕隆納智捷, Dacin first basketball courts. Over the next few Tigers 達欣工程, Bank of Taiwan 臺灣銀 decades, the game gained a following 行, Taiwan Mobile Clouded Leopards 台 as Taiwan’s national teams frequently 灣大雲豹, Pure Youth Construction 璞園建 put on impressive performances abroad. 築 and Kinmen ­ aoliang Liquor 金門酒廠. K ­ nterschool basketball leagues were es- I In 2011, Taiwan Beer triumphed over the tablished in the late 1980s. Dacin Tigers to claim the title. The top international basketball event The Women’s Super Basketball League in Taiwan is the William Jones Cup 女子超級籃球聯賽 opened its 2011 season ­ nvitational. Named after the first secretary- I with six teams: Chunghwa ­ Telecom 中 general of the Fédération ­ Internationale 華電信, Fo Guang University 佛光大學, Performance in International Baseball Competitions 2010 Location Results Asian Little League Championship Japan First Asian AA Baseball Championship Thailand First Junior League World Series United States First World Junior Baseball Championship Canada First Asian Games Mainland China Second Little League World Series United States Third Pony Baseball Bronco League World Series United States Third Intercontinental Cup Taiwan Fourth 28119-new-1014.indd 281 2011/10/18 2:07:15 AM
  5. 5. 19 T Sports ­ aipower 台電, Tai Yuen 台元, newly Tseng further cemented her reputation formed Applause 艾柏斯 and returning as the world’s best female player, win- Cathay Life 國泰人壽. The season con- ­ ning the Wegmans LPGA championship cluded with Cathay Life defeating Tai becoming, at age 22, the youngest player Yuen to win the championship. ever to win four major golf titles. Promising young golfers on the Golf amateur tour include Hung Chien-yao 洪 ­ 健堯, who saw a meteoric rise in his year- Once referred to as the “Asian Golf end world ranking from 207 in 2009 to Kingdom” for its dominance of Asian 26 in 2010. Competing mostly in Asia- championships in the 1970s and 1980s, P ­ acific tournaments, he overtook his Taiwan has in recent years regained its 52nd-ranked compatriot Pan Cheng-tsung reputation as the home of masters of the 潘政琮, who participates almost exclusive- links by producing stellar players. ly in U.S. events. In June 2011, 19-year- While in the past, many players began old Pan rose to No. 19 in world amateur their careers as caddies, athletes today ranking and became the first Taiwanese to receive professional training much ear- participate in the U.S. Open since 1988, lier. Yani Tseng 曾雅妮 is the star of this playing into the second round. Another new generation. Having turned profes- teenage athlete, Doris Chen 陳彥寧, set a sional in 2007, she went on to become new milestone in Taiwan’s golf history in the first athlete from Taiwan to claim the 2010 as the first player from the island to McDonald’s Ladies Professional Golf As- win the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. sociation (LPGA) Championship in 2008. The recent rise of the sport in Taiwan Then aged 19, Tseng became the young- has been accompanied by increased cor- est golfer ever to take the title and the porate sponsorship of international golf second-youngest to win an LPGA major. tournaments. The Yeangder Tournament She was named Rookie of the Year by the Players Championship 仰德集團錦標賽 and association. the Mercuries Taiwan Masters 台灣名人 In the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Champi- 賽 are part of the professional Asian tour. onship and the Ricoh Women’s British The LPGA also included the Sherwood Open, she took top honors and became Hotel Taiwan Championship for the first the youngest female golfer (at age 21) to time in its 2011 calendar. This event is have won three LPGA majors. For her scheduled to be held in October with superb performance in 2010, Tseng was prize money set at US$2 million. About named Rolex Player of the Year. She was 80 top female golfers are expected to also voted Female Player of the Year by participate in the four-day competition in the Golf Writers Association of America. Taoyuan County 桃園縣. Her 2011 season opened with a success- ful defense of the Taifong Ladies Open 台豐女子國際公開賽 and Australian Open Billiards titles. After a brilliant four-shot victory at Players from Taiwan have created the Australian Ladies Masters in Febru- a tradition of excellence in billiards, a ary, Tseng rose to No. 1 in the world, a process that began in the 1990s. The ranking she defended with yet another staging of the World Pool Championship win at the Honda LPGA Thailand later in Kao­ siung City in 2005 generated h that month and again at the LPGA State further ­interest in the sport. Taiwan’s Farm Classic in the United States in June. players have dominated the World Junior 28219-new-1014.indd 282 2011/10/18 2:07:15 AM
  6. 6. C ­ hampionships organized by the World struck gold at the Asian Championships Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), win- in ­Kazakhstan, the World University ning 12 times in the boys’ division since Championships in Spain and the World the competition’s inauguration in 1992. Combat Games in Beijing. The December 2010 rankings by the The talent pool has also grown at a World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) more fundamental level, with a New Taipei placed two Taiwanese men among the top City 新北市 team coming home ­ ictorious v 15 in the world. Ranked No. 4 was Kuo from the German Open in Hamburg, an Po-cheng 郭柏成, runner-up at the World event that attracted 1,200 competitors from 9-Ball Pool Championship in Doha, 55 countries. The ­eenaged team claimed t Q ­ atar. Two-time WPA World Junior two gold, three silver and three bronze Champion Ko Pin-yi 柯秉逸 was ranked awards. At the Asian Cities Gold Cup Tae- 12th. Both men participated in the 2010 kwondo Championship in Hong Kong, a World Pool Masters event in Las Vegas, 19-member team from Miaoli County 苗 the United States in May. 栗縣 clinched the junior male team title The WPA’s 2010 women’s year-end while capturing six gold, three silver and rankings list included five Taiwanese three bronze medals in individual events. players in the top 16. Chang Shu-han 張 舒涵, at No. 9, was the Women’s Profes- Badminton sional Billiard Association (WPBA) Badminton was not widely played in Regional Tour Champion and runner-up Taiwan until the 1970s when rackets and at the WPBA San Diego Classic. Follow- shuttlecocks began to be manufactured ing closely at No. 12 to No. 14 were Tan domestically, making them more afford- Ho-yun 譚禾耘, winner of the Hokuriku able to the public. Soon businesses were Open; Lin Yuan-chun 林沅君, who secured sponsoring competitions, which helped Taiwan’s women’s professional billiards raise the ­ rofile of this sport and produce p championship (PBC); and Tsai Pei-chen c ­ ompetitive players. 蔡佩真, first-round winner of the PBC. Ranked 16th was Chou Chieh-yu 周婕妤, Players from Taiwan have gener- holder of the Japan Open title. ally fared well in doubles events, while singles titles have remained elusive. However, Cheng Shao-chieh 鄭韶婕 had Taekwondo a breakthrough year for Taiwan in 2009, The gold-medal performances of clinching the women’s singles title in taekwondo athletes Chen Shih-hsin 陳 the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold, the 詩欣 and Chu Mu-yen 朱木炎 at the 2004 first time a Taiwanese woman had won Olympics have boosted the sport’s popu- the singles event. The following year, she larity in Taiwan, and the number of tae- successfully defended her title despite kwondo students has risen rapidly over playing injured. In men’s singles, Hsueh the past few years. The national team has Hsuan-yi 薛軒億 showed signs of promise benefited from this, taking medals at a by winning a gold in the 2010 World Uni- number of international competitions. versity Championship. An outstanding example of Taiwan’s In women’s doubles, Cheng Wen- rising stars is Tseng Pei-hua 曾珮華, hsing 程文欣 and Chien Yu-chin 簡毓瑾 whose bold attacks and robust defense continued to shine at international tour- brought her record success in 2010. Com- naments and regained their No. 1 rank- peting in the 57-kilogram division, she ing in September 2010. They had first 28319-new-1014.indd 283 2011/10/18 2:07:16 AM
  7. 7. 19 Sports reached the top spot in January 2009 and At the 2010 Wimbledon C h a m ­ have since remained in the top seven. After pionships, Lu Yen-hsun 盧彥勳 made tough losses in the first half of 2010, the history by becoming the first Taiwanese ­ pair made adjustments and went on to win ever and the first Asian player since the Yonex OCBC U.S. Open Grand Prix 1995 ­ o reach the quarterfinals of a grand t Gold, the Yonex ­ anada Open Grand Prix C slam singles event with a victory over and the Kumpoo Macau Open in July and former world No. 1 Andy Roddick of the ­ August. They later reached the semifinals United States. He reached a career-high of the Victor-Badminton World Federa- No. 33 in ­ ankings by the Association of ­ r tion (BWF) Super Series Finals 2010. T ­ ennis Professionals. For Fang Chieh-min 方介民 and Lee In women’s tennis, doubles star Sheng-mu 李勝木, 2010 was a stellar year. Chuang Chia-jung 莊佳容 teamed up with ­ They bagged men’s doubles title at five Olga Govortsova of Belarus to beat the events—the World University Champion- top-seeded duo and claim the China Open ship, the Yonex OCOC U.S. Open Grand title. She then partnered with compatriot Prix Gold, the Djarum Indonesia Open Chang Kai-chen 張凱貞 to win her third Super Series, the Li-ning Singapore Open consecutive doubles title at her home Super Series and the Yonex Canada Open tournament—the OEC Taipei Ladies Grand Prix. Their victories lifted them to Open. Chang’s major win in 2010 came at No. 3 worldwide for a brief spell in De- the HP Japan Women’s Open in a pairing cember 2010. with Lilia Osterloh of the United States. Another headline-making duo, Chen Hung-ling 陳宏麟 and Lin Yu-lang 林祐 Powerlifting 瑯, netted the silver medal in the 2010 Asia Championships in New Delhi, India. Powerlifting was initially introduced Chen also teamed up with Hsieh Pei-chen into Taiwan as a weightlifting category. Its 謝沛蓁 to capture the mixed doubles title first exclusive competition was held in Tai- at the World University Championship. pei in 1975 and, in 1984, it was included in the Taiwan Area Games 臺灣區運動會. In addition to holding the annual Taiwan won its first gold medal in an inter- Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold, Taiwan national competition in 1995 and has since hosted the World University Champion- added many more to its collection. ship in September 2010 and the Victor- BWF Super Series Finals 2010 in ­ anuary J Following a superb performance at 2011. The latter event featured play by the the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung world’s top eight in singles and doubles. City, when Taiwanese powerlifters set The BWF World Junior Championships four world records, the nation’s athletes are scheduled to be held in Taipei City in again excelled at the World Powerlift- October 2011. ing Championships in South Africa in November 2010. They took home a total of eight gold, five silver and four bronze Tennis medals. Hsieh Tsung-ting 謝宗庭 had the In the 1980s, more than 50 percent of best performance, bagging four golds—in the world’s tennis rackets were produced squat, deadlift, bench press and overall in Taiwan. One generation later, Taiwan’s competition—in the under-60-kilogram national teams are competing in the Da- division. This was an improvement on his vis Cup and the Fed Cup, but have yet to previous year’s haul of three golds and advance beyond regionals. one silver. 28419-new-1014.indd 284 2011/10/18 2:07:16 AM
  8. 8. All of the remaining four gold med- c ­ ompetition at the World Outdoor Cham- als came in deadlift. The winners were pionships in South Africa in September. Huang Lung-hsin 黃龍興 in the men’s under-75-kilogram division; and in the women’s division, Lee Chia-yu 李佳 National Sporting Events 諭, Chou Yi-ju 周怡汝 and Chou Chien- Taiwan holds two national-level com- yu ­ 千又 in the under-48-, 52- and 56- 周 petitions in alternating years. The National kilogram categories, respectively. Games 全國運動會 involve sports featured at the Asian Games and the Olympic Tug-of-War Games. The Sport for All Games 全民運 Taiwan’s women’s tug-of-war nation- 動會 features events that are part of the al team achieved world prominence by q ­ uadrennial World Games. winning a gold medal at the 2005 World The 2010 Sport for All Games, hosted Games held in Duisburg, Germany. The by Taichung City 臺中市, attracted 6,000 squad remained unrivalled at the World atheletes from across Taiwan to compete Championships in 2006 and 2008, and in 21 sports that included martial arts, went on to defend their title at the 2009 dance, gateball, finswimming and power- World Games in Kaohsiung City. lifting. Twenty-nine records at this level Taiwan continued its impressive of competition—all in powerlifting— run in 2010, starting with a gold in the were broken during the five-day event. women’s 540-kilogram category at the Kaohsiung City, host to the 2009 World World Indoor Championships in Italy Games, took top honors, winning 29 in February. At the Asian Champion- gold, 22 silver and 27 bronze medals. ships in the ROK two months later, it C ­ hanghua County 彰化縣 will host the swept the women’s 500- and men’s 600- 2011 National Games and Nantou County kilogram divisions, as well as the male, 南投縣, the 2012 Sport for All Games. female and mixed events in the open club The National Disabled Games 全國 competition. The women’s national team 身心障礙國民運動會 are also held bienni- earned another gold in the 500-kilogram ally. Around 2,100 athletes competed Women’s national team members tug their way to gold in the 500-kilogram division at the 2010 Tug of War World Outdoor Championships in South Africa. (Courtesy of Taipei Jingmei Girls High School) 28519-new-1014.indd 285 2011/10/18 2:07:17 AM
  9. 9. 19 Sports 2010 Asian Games Results Gold Silver Bronze Total Archery - - 1 1 Artistic gymnastics - - 2 2 Athletics - 1 1 2 Badminton - - 1 1 Baseball - 1 - 1 Billiards 1 2 5 8 Cycling 1 - 1 2 Golf - - 3 3 Judo - 1 2 3 Karate - 2 4 6 Roller sports 4 4 1 9 Rowing - 1 - 1 Soft tennis 2 2 3 7 Softball - - 1 1 Swimming - - 1 1 Taekwondo 2 - 3 5 Tennis 3 2 1 6 Weightlifting - - 2 2 Weiqi (Go) - - 1 1 Wushu (Martial arts) - - 4 4 Xiangqi (Chess) - - 1 1 Total 13 16 38 67 Gold Medalists Winner Event Billiards Kuo Po-cheng 郭柏成 8-ball pool singles (men) Cycling Hsiao Mei-yu 蕭美玉 100km individual road race (women) Roller sports Sung Ching-yang 宋青陽 300m time-trial race (men) 500m sprint race (men) Huang Yu-ting 黃郁婷 500m sprint race (women) Wang Hsiao-chu 王筱筑 Single free skating (women) Soft tennis Li Chia-hung 李佳鴻,Yang Sheng-fa 楊勝發 Doubles (men) Kuo Chia-wei 郭家瑋, Li Chia-hung Team (men) Lin Ting-chun 林鼎鈞, Liu Chia-lun 劉家綸 Yang Sheng-fa Taekwondo Huang Hsien-yung 黃顯詠 Under 46kg (women) Wei Chen-yang 魏辰洋 Under 58kg (men) Tennis Chan Yung-jan 詹詠然, Chuang Chia-jung 莊佳容 Doubles (women) Chan Yung-jan, Yang Tsung-hua 楊宗樺 Doubles (mixed) Chen Ti 陳迪, Lu Yen-hsun 盧彥勳 Team (men) Yang Tsung-hua, Yi Chu-huan 易楚寰 Source: Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee 28619-new-1014.indd 286 2011/10/18 2:07:17 AM
  10. 10. 2010 Asian Para Games Results Gold Silver Bronze Total Athletics - 2 1 3 Badminton - 1 - 1 Judo - 1 1 2 Powerlifting 1 - - 1 Swimming 5 - 1 6 Table tennis - 1 3 4 10-pin bowling 2 2 4 8 Wheelchair tennis - - 1 1 Total 8 7 11 26 Source: Guangzhou Asian Para Games Organizing Committee in 19 sports in the 2010 event in Chiayi Asian Para Games County 嘉義縣. Taipei City captured 242 The Asian Para Games, also held in gold, 138 silver and 124 bronze medals, Guangzhou, were another showcase for a tally that accounted for 37 percent of Taiwan’s talent. Taiwan sent 77 athletes to all awards. the games to compete in 12 sports. The ath- letes captured eight gold, seven silver and Overseas Accomplishments 11 bronze medals, placing Taiwan at No. 8 in both medal tally and gold-medal count. Asian Games Five of the eight gold awards came in Taiwan had one of its best-ever per­­ swimming. Lin Shin-wei 林昕緯 was the for­ ances at the 2010 Asian Games in m first to cross the finish line in four events, mainland China, finishing fifth in the setting records in men’s 100-meter free- overall medal count with 67 medals—13 style, 50-meter freestyle and 200-meter in- gold, 16 silver and 38 bronze. dividual medley for the visually impaired. The games, which attracted nearly The fifth gold went to 43-year-old Luo 10,000 athletes from 44 countries and Hsiao-hung 羅小紅 for her performance in territories in Asia and the Middle East, the women’s 100-meter breaststroke. produced numerous sporting high- Physical Education lights for Taiwan. Its contingent of 395 athletes won gold medals in billiards, road ­ cycling, roller sports, soft tennis, Students across the nation are required taekwondo and tennis. Kuo Po-cheng’s to take two hours of physical education victory in men’s 8-ball gave Taiwan its classes every week in primary and second- fourth consecutive gold in billiards in this ary school, and the subject is compulsory r ­ egional competition. Cyclist Hsiao Mei- at all universities. The most popular sports yu 蕭美玉 gave a stunning performance, among students are baseball, basketball, riding to a first-place finish in the 100- badminton, table tennis and various mar- kilometer women’s individual road race. tial arts. Taiwan began establishing in- A silver in the men’s 4x100 meter relay terschool sports leagues in the late 1980s ended Taiwan’s 20-year medal drought in to train athletes for national teams. Since track and field. over 90 percent of schools had basketball 28719-new-1014.indd 287 2011/10/18 2:07:17 AM
  11. 11. 19 Sports A growing network of bicycle trails through scenic areas has contributed to the popularity of cycling in Taiwan. courts and more students played basketball to 26.1 percent in 2010. The most popular than any other ball game, the sport was forms of physical activity are walking, the first to feature an interschool league. cycling, hiking and jogging. Achievements at major competitions To further promote physical activity, can stand junior and senior high school the SAC implemented a four-year plan students in good stead when progressing in January 2010 to develop Taiwan into to the next level of education. Male ath- a “sports island.” It will spend NT$13.26 letes who do well in international compe- billion (US$420 million) on the con- titions prior to conscription are allowed to struction of 50 sports centers and 20 serve in sports-related positions as an al- sports parks across Taiwan, as well as on ternative to compulsory military service. p ­ rograms and activities aimed at increas- While sports-related programs are ing the physically active population by offered by about 70 universities and col- 0.5 to 1 percent annually. Sports centers leges in Taiwan, there are three dedicated are to house a fitness room, an aerobics institutes—the National Taiwan Sport room, a swimming pool, and multipur- University 國立體育大學, the National pose badminton and table tennis courts. T ­ aiwan College of Physical Education 國 The ­ current leader in providing athletic 立臺灣體育學院 and the Taipei Physical Ed- facilities, Taipei City, has a sports center ucation College 臺北市立體育學院—which in every one of its 12 districts. provide coaching and technical training A national initiative was launched in for specific sports as well as programs in 2010 to improve the swimming ability sports science and sports management. of all citizens, particularly students. The plan aims to increase the number of stu- Getting the Public Active dents proficient in swimming from 42 to 55 percent by 2013. Over 150 pools will A series of programs designed by be added to the 1,100 public and private the government is in place to get people facilities currently in use across the nation. a ­ ctive and involved in sports. According The popularity of cycling has ex- to annual SAC surveys, the proportion of ploded in recent years. To accommodate people regularly engaged in physical ac- the ­growing number of enthusiasts, an tivity doubled from 12.8 percent in 2003 ambitious project costing NT$4 billion 28819-new-1014.indd 288 2011/10/18 2:07:18 AM
  12. 12. (US$126 million) is underway to develop outdoor exercise, many more people are an island-wide, 1,500-kilometer-long avid spectators of competitive sports, with n ­ etwork of bicycle trails. The northern baseball being the longstanding ­ avorite. f network linking five cities and counties The Tianmu Baseball Stadium 天母棒球場 was completed in 2010. Dedicated bike in Taipei caters to this national passion. It lanes have also been built in major cities. has served as a venue for ­ omestic pro- d To spur the growth of the sports fessional baseball games since 2002, and i ­ ndustry, the Legislative Yuan (Legisla- also played host to the Baseball World ture) in June ­ pproved a law encouraging a Cup in 2001 and 2007. At the city’s cen- private-sector participation in sports pro- ter, the 15,000-seat ­ aipei Arena 臺北小 T motion and nurturing of athletic talent. 巨蛋 has facilities for ­ arious spectator v Under the new law, businesses and sports sports including tennis and ice hockey. bodies would qualify for tax incentives if Adjacent to the Taipei Arena is the Tai- they invest in major public sports facili- pei Track and Field Stadium 臺北田徑場, ties, underwrite sports research, or spon- which has a seating ­ apacity of 20,000. It c sor and stage sporting events. comprises a ­ tandard ­ 00-meter track that s 4 In recognition of their sponsorship encircles a soccer field, as well as a 300- of sports—either for events or athletes—­ meter warm-up track. several companies have received the In Kaohsiung City, a stadium built for Sports Promotion Award 運動推手獎 pre- the 2009 World Games accommodates up sented ­ nnually by the SAC since 2009. a to 40,000 spectators, houses a world-class 400-meter track-and-field facility and can Spectator Sports Venues host international soccer matches. The While a majority of Taiwan’s physical- city also has a multipurpose indoor sports ly active population engages in ­ ecreational r arena with a seating capacity of 15,000. • Sports Affairs Council: Related • Chinese Professional Baseball League: Websites • National Sports Training Center: 28919-new-1014.indd 289 2011/10/21 2:07:15 AM