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Rural sports reel in fans

By ZHU XINGXIN,YANG JUN and WU YUCHEN in Guiyang | China Daily| Updated: 2023-08-14 Print

Soccer, basketball and volleyball are the three major sports in China and are even popular in the country's rural areas.

This year, after the successful staging of the "Village Basketball Association", known in Chinese as Cun BA, in Guizhou province, the "Village Super (Soccer) League", known in Chinese as cun chao, became a sensational event, attracting audiences from both home and abroad to the southwestern province.

The soccer league, known as the "Village Super", consists of 20 teams from various villages and ethnic groups in Rongjiang county, Guizhou. The players are amateurs from all walks of life, including farmers, students, businessmen, police officers and drivers age 15 to 50.

On the evening of July 29, the final of the Village Super drew thousands of people to a fully-packed stadium. Since its launch on May 13, the league has attracted over 3.38 million fans.

The charm of rural sports events lies not only in the fierce competition on the field but also in the integration of various offerings and activities, including the chance to try local foods, socialize with residents and learn about ethnic folk culture.


Children wearing traditional costumes of ethnic groups cheer during a "Village Super" game on July 28. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

Last year in Taipan village in Guizhou's Taijiang county, which is more than 160 kilometers away from the Village Super venue, the Village Basketball Association became a sensation after its debut at the Miao ethnic group's June 6 New Year Festival.

In addition, the "Village Volleyball Association", known as "Village Volleyball", known in Chinese as Cun VA, in Hainan province, has also gained popularity on the internet.

With the continuous promotion of the rural vitalization strategy, rural sports are expected to have greater development opportunities.

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