Seeds of Sport Sowed at SUSTech: Sports Center Director Dong Lunhong
Tong Xiaojin | 11/18/2018

The first Science and Technology Sports Festival of Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) is in full swing. The 4th SUSTech Sports Meeting takes place today, providing a veritable feast of athletic activities for staff and students. The Newshub interviewed SUSTech Sports Center Director Dong Lunhong to get a better understanding of the development and planning behind SUSTech’s sports education.

Director Dong Lunhong has his own insights into physical education, centered on forming long-term habits that benefit people’ physical and mental health. He believes that offering a variety of interesting campus sports activities will inspire students to form positive habits.

Staff and Students Become Active Athletes

Dong Lunhong is convinced that fun and interesting sports activities are the keys to attracting the SUSTech community to them. October 16thsaw the night sky glow with a fluorescent yellow as a river of LED lights and incandescent shirts threaded through campus for the inaugural Shining Run. This was only the first part of the SUSTech Science and Technology Sports Festival, which has featured and will feature more unique activities.

The Autumn Sports Festival is taking advantage of our innovative nature by combining scientific and technological innovation with physical fitness. Students are encouraged to wear wearable devices in order to manage their own fitness and compete with each other. A variety of new activities have joined traditional sporting pursuits as part of the Sports Festival.

SUSTech’s youth has not inhibited active participation in extracurricular sports. A prime example of this is the Martial Arts Club, which has seen over 100 students taking part in different disciplines like jujitsu, wrestling, taekwondo, and mixed martial arts. Students are regularly practicing until 10pm every night in the night air.

Campaigning To Improve Student Health

While the new era has improved many areas of people’s lives, their health is generally thought not to be one of them. Dong Lunhong talked of how young people are less active in physical activities and showed the trends behind this. One of his challenges is how to improve the physical fitness of students in this new era. He has worked with his colleagues at the Sports Center to create unique courses, including aerobics, swimming, orienteering, tennis, and volleyball.

The Sports Center is seeking to help students improve their physical and mental health by encouraging them to take up long distance running. Studies have shown that long-distance runners tend to sleep better, have better memories, have less mental health problems, live longer and are healthier overall.

Students run a certain distance each semester and earn points towards their Physical Education grade. Dong Lunhong wants the students to develop good exercise habits over time. Just by walking out of their dormitories each day and going for a run, they are breathing fresh air and embracing nature.

Outdoor Sports Embrace Nature

With lush green mountains, babbling brooks and trees groaning with lush lychees, SUSTech is flush with flora when it comes to natural resources. Dong Lunhong has completely adopted what is on offer outside the laboratories, classrooms, and gymnasiums of SUSTech, by encouraging students and staff to get involved in activities outside.

While many foreign countries are intimately aware of this concept, it is one that is somewhat foreign to China. It has been used for organized activities, such as hiking, kayaking, climbing, and team games. Such activities encourage leadership, communication, and organizational skills; skills that are extremely valuable for the future leaders SUSTech is creating.

SUSTech’s natural resources make outdoor sports much easier compared to other Chinese universities. With sports festivals held in spring and autumn, other activities can be held around these periods, when the weather lends itself to outdoor activities. As the flowers bloom in spring, cross-country running and orienteering activities will be organized so that students can enjoy nature as part of their exercise.

Orienteering is an example of a sport that has expanded in leaps and bounds at SUSTech. Earlier this year, the SUSTech Student Orienteering Team sent 20 people to the National Student Orienteering Championships. Team Captain Hao Wei won the men’s team championship.

The Sports Center plans to establish a mountain sports park in the near future. Its ambitious plans for outdoor activities include rock climbing, tree climbing, cross-country running, mountain biking and roller skating. Water sports such as kayaking and SCUBA diving are also being examined as future activities. These outdoor activities would bring students and staff closer to nature and improve their health.

Science and Technology Everywhere In Our Lives

As a research-oriented science and engineering university, technology penetrates every aspect of students’ lives. This also extends into their physical activities.

Strolling across the SUSTech campus, sports can be seen everywhere. Students can find out how to prevent knee injuries through preventative training at the “Intelligent Sports” lectures in the school library. Many people are spotted jogging through campus and using wearable devices to record essential health data. SUSTech has started to use its own wearable device to monitor the immediate heart rate prior to exercise, to prevent cardiovascular disease.

SUSTech takes pride in its role as a scientific and technological innovator, and this does not stop when it comes to sports. The SUSTech Nanshan racing team is a perfect example of this, with its combination of youth, fashion, and vitality. Students have control of every aspect of the vehicle, from design to construction and driving. It reflects the practical and hands-on nature of a SUSTech education. The innovation does not stop there, with the SUSTech designed wearable being used for unique competitions on campus. It is no longer just about being the fastest around the track.

SUSTech has performed exceptionally well, given that it is not a university noted for its athletics education. In 2017, SUSTech came third in Guangdong championships for cheerleading, second in tennis and first in the backstroke. SUSTech also won the 2017 Shenzhen University Town Sports Championships and the 2018 Guangdong University Student Martial Arts Championships.

Dong Lunhong is strident in his beliefs that sports are not just about health, but also about communication. Many modern business people like to meet over some form of sporting activity to test the attitude of a potential business partner, so a healthy lifestyle is essential for being able to communicate and connect with people better.

2018, 11-18
By Tong Xiaojin

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Translated and Adapted By Chris Edwards

Proofread ByXia Yingying

Photo BySports Center offers

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2018 Graduation Party
SUSTech Scenery in the Spring