Sports are losing appeal
When did you last go outside for sports? Some students might need a while to recall. But for students in Yangzhou University it is easy to remember as they need to run in the morning at least 45 times every year – at least three times a week during their two semesters. The university even uses fingerprint punch-in clocks to manage students’ records.
Now colleges are seeing a change in the student lifestyle from outdoor enthusiasts to indoor couch potatoes and Internet addicts.
“Students do not like doing exercise and they consider it boring. This method can force them to exercise and keep themselves in good shape,” said Yang Jian from the Faculty of Arts at Yangzhou University. “New technologies, such as the Internet, offer students many alternatives in their spare time.”
However, even with on the spot fingerprint scanning, some students still try to skip morning jogging sessions. To them, sports are just not important enough.
In the past two years Zhang Yi, 20, a junior majoring in law at Yangzhou University, has never been outside for sports except during physical education class.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with sleeping late in the morning and wanting to stay in the dormitory in my spare time. I have more fun doing things on my computer than playing on the sports ground in wet clothes,” said Zhang.
In Zhang’s opinion, sports and even socializing are no better than staying in the dormitory and playing on a computer.
“Every time I come back from student activities I feel completely exhausted from forced socializing,” said Zhang.
The Internet and various on-campus services, from food delivery to laundry, are fuelling a student culture of staying in dormitories. A student can have every need met without leaving the dormitory.
“I feel more comfortable in the dorm. I can sit back in cozy pajamas and watch a movie without caring about my sitting position or anything,” said Cheng Jie, 21, a senior majoring in civil engineering at the Southeast University in Nanjing.
Cheng said that with social networking sites, online games and micro-blogging adding to already tight schedules, sports are often the last thing to be considered.
“I can think of tons of things to do in my spare time besides outdoor exercise,” said Cheng.
But Jin Yinghua, a professor at Beijing Sports University, said that sports are not only for keeping fit, but also an irreplaceable “education” for students.
“Sports are not only a way for students to train their body, but also an important way to learn responsibility, teamwork and dedication,” said Jin.
“In sports, people try to win. But losing is just as good because you must learn to cope with defeat, which is another important lesson for young people nowadays.”