SHIJIAZHUANG, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — North China’s Hebei Province has purchased nearly 100,000 pairs of roller skates for rural pupils, according to local sports bureau.
Over 1,700 rural primary schools on Friday received the roller skates, which will help them offer roller skating lessons for students. The cost for the skates amounts to over 20 million yuan (about 3.06 million U.S. dollars).
“With the new roller skates, we can ensure that every child will have skates to wear in gym class and enjoy more diverse activities,” said Xin Xiangyan, head of Bayi Hope Primary School in Chengnanzhuang Township of Hebei, at a distribution ceremony.
According to the provincial sports bureau, the roller skates are customized with chips and QR codes that can be scanned with smartphones and produce data on the wearer’s skating route, duration and speed so that coaches can provide targeted training plans for each child.
Roller skating is seen as a good substitute for ice skating as it has more venues and coaching resources. The sport has been promoted in Hebei to develop winter sports since Beijing won a joint bid with Hebei’s Zhangjiakou City to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.