At a skateboard training center near Wulin Square in Hangzhou, Zhou Zhi, a 9-year-old boy, is practicing back and forth on a U-shaped skateboard ramp.
Zhou Zhi got to know skateboarding when a friend of his father gave him a skateboard more than a year ago. Before that, Zhou Zhi had picked baseball and skating skills for two years. At first, Zhou Zhi just wanted to learn to ski with his father, but unexpectedly fell in love with skateboarding.
As one of the coolest sports in the world, skateboarding is an evolution of surfing on land. The sport of skateboarding was announced as an official Olympic sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2016. Since then, this niche sport is gradually becoming known and accepted by the public.
Zhou Zhi spent almost the whole summer vacation practicing skateboarding. Recently, he won second place and his friend Sun Chenling won the championship in the Toy Machine 'Street Warrior' Youth Skate League organized by 50 Skate Club.
Their coach Wang Fei thought that both of them are very hard-working players. He said, “Compared with other students of the same age, their two levels are currently ranked in the first echelon in Hangzhou.”
Recently, Wang Fei is busy setting up professional skateboarding teams under the guidance of the government. He said that after the establishment of the teams, excellent provincial team members would be selected to prepare for the national games, skateboarding championships, and other professional events in the future.
Not only skateboarding, baseball, rugby, fencing, ice hockey, and scuba diving are becoming more and more popular with parents and children. Last month, the 2021 Hangzhou Youth Baseball and Softball Open was held in Hangzhou, where more than 350 young players from 25 baseball and softball teams participated in the competition.
On weekends, many canoeing clubs in Hangzhou allow children to practice on the West Lake and Qiantang River. There are also children holding a long sword and learning to slide, stab, defense in the professional training field. What’s more, some minor sports, such as equestrian and golf, have set courses in Hangzhou primary and middle schools.
Is the spring of niche sports coming?