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China Launches Rural Fitness Drive

(RFE/RL) March 29, 2006 -- Chinese authorities say they want to build outdoor table-tennis tables and basketball courts in every Chinese village as part of a massive rural fitness drive.

Feng Jianzhong, a top official in China's sports administration, made the announcement today in Beijing. He said it is hoped the plan will be fully implemented by 2011.

Feng said the idea is aimed at helping farmers achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Reuters reports that 80 percent of China's population lives in rural communities, while only 8 percent of the country's sports facilities are in rural areas.