Written by (作者): Kiko Chen 陈若男
Photos by (图片来源): Shuyun Wu 吴书韵 & Yanxiang Wu 吴焱湘
Whenever you open your “Moments” in WeChat these days, you will find a lot of people showing off the results of a run, their time at the gym, or a healthy post-workout meal. People have a stronger obligation to stay in shape more now than ever before, and many are getting outside to exercise following a wave of fitness frenzy across the nation. However, a lack of proper outdoor fitness centers and athletic facilities has caused much frustration among the populace, leading to the advent of new and innovative “sports and fitness parks” with integrated outdoor sporting grounds and excellent facilities. Ningbo is no stranger to this new luxury, with many parks having popped up since last year. Read on to explore three of the most prominent ones in the city.
Luzhou Sports Park
The first sporting complex in the city, Luzhou Sports Park, has been open to the public since last August. Located in Southern New Town in Zhenhai, the park has two main highlights: a green landscape and ample room for exercise, with the facility covering an area of 116,000 square meters. The sports park has many similarities with many entertainment-oriented theme parks and tourist parks, with spacious lawns and a nice countryside appearance, but take a closer look and, apart from rubberized running track, winding water system, and flourishing plants, there are indoor and outdoor fields, a section for kids, fitness paths, tennis courts, and basketball courts all over the park. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to exercise in Ningbo.
Decathlon (one of three stores/parks in the city operated by the French sporting clothes brand) was constructed following an investment of $20 million by the Decathlon Group and the Jiangbei District Government and was completed in April. The park is located on Jiangbei’s Hongtang Street and covers a total area of 21,000 square meters. Along with a Decathlon store, there are gymnasiums, recreational facilities, jogging tracks, plus it will soon be open free to the public. The park is expected to be put into operation by the end of this year.
Hangzhou Bay New Zone Sports Park
The youngest sports park in this group is in the Hangzhou Bay New Zone and is still under construction. The park obtained government funds for 4.9 million RMB in February, which should hasten the process of the project. The first sports fields are expected to be completed and open to the public this September. Initial planning shows that the park is located in the core region of the New Zone, with northern and southern open parks connected by multifunctional paths. The north park is a proper park with green lush landscape, water features, flowers, and more. The south park will house sporting facilities, including a soccer field, basketball court, tennis court, and a huge outdoor activity square. There will also be climbing walls, and “extreme sports area”, and swimming pool, and it will be able to host various sporting events.
The world of sports and leisure has grown increasingly in the past few years in Ningbo, combining outdoor fitness, use of state-of-the-art recreational facilities,and varying sports activities. These sports parks are the latest attraction for this prosperous and ever growing city.