Sport in Macau

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Macau residents participate in a wide variety of sports for recreation and competition. Football, basketball, volleyball, Dragon Boat, jogging, swimming, table tennis, and badminton are among the most popular in the community. Local leagues and competitions are organized regularly every year, but owing to Macau's small population (about half a million) professional leagues are financially unfeasible and so most participants are merely local sport enthusiasts.

There are many sport associations and clubs in Macau which frequently organize local or regional sporting events and competitions. Owing to the amateur nature of local sports, all sport associations and clubs in Macau are run by organizations under government subsidies or sponsorships. The Macau Sport Development Board [1] is the department responsible for Macau's sport development, venue operations and organization of major international sport events held in Macau (except the Macau Grand Prix, which is organized by the Macau Grand Prix Committee [2]).

Sport participation among the locals[edit]

There are over 50 sport associations in Macau.[3] Their roles and responsibilities include organizing local and regional competitions, youth training, promoting sports to the local community, co-ordinating with the authorities to organize international sporting events and competitions. Under these associations there are hundreds of different sport clubs registered to the authority.

Non-professional leagues are organized for clubs to compete with one another. Leagues such as the football league, the basketball league, the volleyball league, dragon boating and the student leagues of various sports are those which attract the largest number of participants.

Football[edit]

In Macau, football is very popular and apart from playing the standard 11-a-side football, there is also another football league which uses smaller artificial pitches (75 × 50 metres) and smaller football (size No. 4, instead of No. 5 in standard football matches). This is mainly due to the lack of standard-size football pitches and it is easier to build and maintain smaller artificial pitches.

Basketball[edit]

Basketball is another popular sport in Macau. The game is generally played under FIBA rules and basketball courts (both outdoor and indoor) are widely available to the public. Non-professional basketball leagues are held each year and players who have decent performance in these leagues are generally selected for the Macau SAR Team.

Dragon Boating[edit]

Dragon Boating has been nearly 100year jojololo of history in Macau already. At that time Macau people called dragon boating as in “ba long chuan” (Chinese:扒龍船)or “fish bone boat”(Chinese:魚骨船). During 1979 later, The Macau Sport Development Board [4] organised to have International Dragon Boating competition. The competition will hold once a year during Duanwu Festival (Chinese: 端午節) also known as Dragon Boat Festival. It is one of the traditional and statutory associated with Chinese culture. Therefore, every Duanwu Festival Macau will hold a Dragon Boating competition in Sai Van Lake.[5] Dragon Boating becoming more popular during 2003, a lot of young people started to play dragon boat and fellow the Chinese traditional culture.[6] When people talk about the sport of dragon boating might think their skin must be dark and strong. It is because they used to practice Dragon Boating every afternoon after school and work. Everyone wants to win and it is an honour and fame to their home village, therefore the Dragon Boat athletes spend every afternoon and weekends to practice and cooperate in the boat. The averages of age that play dragon boat are age between 20 – 40 years in ages. Some team might have age between 15- 30 in ages. In 2003, the Macau Sport Development Board organised Committee of the 4th East Asian Games of Macau, and the Dragon Boat Association of Macau, China. During 29 October 2005 till 8 November 2005 the committee of the 4th East Asian Games had held an event called 4th East Asian Games.[7] There were more than 20countries and cities from East Asian involved within 50+sports and dragon boating was part of it.

Jogging and running[edit]

Jogging and running are popular among the middle-aged and elder ones. Most of them jog or run early in the morning or in the evening along a public footpath surrounding the Guia Hill in the Macau Peninsula, which is well-known among the locals because of its ideal nature for running or jogging – no vehicle traffic, path surrounded by trees and bushes, loop-path, tarmac paving, path wide enough for either directions. Sometimes local running competitions are held up there.

Since 2007 the Macau Sport Development Board has opened up tracks in some sports venues to the public as a means of providing space for joggers and runners. In the past, the tracks were not available to the general public and were only reserved for team training, school's sports day or local competitions. This is especially beneficial to people who live relatively far from the Guia Hill and are interested in jogging or running on a regular basis.

Rugby[edit]

Macau has a national rugby union side, which competes in international competitions, and there is also Macau Rugby Club, which takes part in various competitions [5]. Beach rugby and rugby tens tournaments have been held in the territory, and the game benefits from rugby's much stronger presence in neighbouring Hong Kong.

International sporting events held in Macau[edit]

Annual events[edit]

Macau Grand Prix[edit]

The Macau Grand Prix is an annual motor-racing event which takes place in November. Bearing similarities with the Monaco Grand Prix circuit in Monte Carlo, the Macau circuit, known as the Guia Circuit, is a street-circuit bounded by crash barriers with almost no run-off areas. Famous for its combination of fast long straights (a Formula Three car can reach a top speed of 260 km/h at the end of this stretch [8]) and uphill-downhill twists, it has been known as one of the most demanding circuit in the world. Every year hundreds of racing drivers and riders from the world gather in the enclave and fight for glory in this circuit. Since the event was upgraded from Formula Atlantic to Formula Three, the Macau Grand Prix has become a stepping stone for future Formula One drivers, as it has always been a stage for competitions between newly crowned Formula 3 champions from Britain, Europe, Japan and other Formula 3 championships. Famous drivers include Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton etc.

Due to the historical value of the event and its substantial contribution to Macau's tourism industry, a museum named the Grand Prix Museum has been established as a place where fans can recapture their fond memories of the event's past and present. More than 20 racing cars which have been driven by world-renowned names in the motorsport world, electric-operated motor cars, racing accessories and videos related to the Grand Prix are displayed in the museum. Visitors can capture the history of motor-racing in Macau in the past 40 years. The museum also displays many historical pictures of breathtaking races in the past, and 2 racing simulators are provided for visitors to have a feel of racing.[9]

FIVB Volleyball Grand Prix[edit]

Macau was granted the right to host a round of the FIVB Volleyball Grand Prix series in 1994 for the first time and since then Macau has held the event annually except in 2003 and 2004 when the venue, Macau Forum, was under renovation for the 2005 East Asian Games. Macau was also the venue for the 2001 Final.

Macau Open (Golf)[edit]

The Macau Open is a professional golf tournament which is held in May each year since 1998 and is one of the rounds of the Asian Tour. It is played at the Macau Golf and Country Club situated at Coloane, Macau. Famous winners include Lee Westwood (1999 Champion) and Colin Montgomerie (2003 Champion).

Macau International Marathron[edit]

The Macau International Marathron [10] is held in December every year. There are three categories in the competition: the Marathron, the Half Marathron and the Mini Marathron.

One-off events[edit]

2007 Asian Indoor Games[edit]

The right to host the second edition of the spectacular Asian Indoor Games in 2007 was granted to Macau at the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly Meeting, which was held in Kuwait on 24 January 2003. At the same meeting, the locally designed emblem of the Macau 2007, 2nd Asian Indoor Games was also unanimously approved. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has established the Asian Indoor Games as a competition that will take place every two years and will introduce certain kinds of sports with TV broadcasting potential but not necessarily competed in the traditional Asian Games or Olympic Games. The competition program was composed of six to eight kinds of sports with strong television appeal, including extreme sports, aerobics, acrobatics, indoor athletics, dancesport, futsal, inline hockey, finswimming, and 25 metres short course swimming. The Games were held between 26 October and 3 November 2007.

2006 Lusophony Games[edit]

Main article: 2006 Lusophony Games

2005 East Asian Games[edit]

Main article: 2005 East Asian Games

The 4th East Asian Games Association (EAGA) Council meeting held in Guam in March 1996 awarded Macau the right to host the 4th East Asian Games. They were held between October 29, 2005 and November 6, 2005. China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei, Guam sent a total of more than 2,800 athletes and officials.

There were 17 sports and 235 events at the games, which included:

Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Bowling, Dancesport, Dragon boat,[11] football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Rowing, Karate-do,[12] Shooting, Soft tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Weightlifting, and Wushu [13]

By utilizing and swirling the five symbolic colors from the Olympic Rings together, the emblem of the games displayed the Olympic Spirit in a new guise.[14] It also reflected the dynamic power of the Five Elements - Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.

The Mascot of 4th East Asian Games [15] was a squirrel called "Pak Pak (柏柏)". "Pak Pak" comes from Macau's Guia Hill where there are lots of Fir trees, and is also the site of the oldest lighthouse on the Chinese coast - the Guia Lighthouse.

Macau in International Competition[edit]

Olympic Sport[edit]

Further information: Macau Olympic Committee

Macau has a National Olympic Committee, the Macau Olympic Committee, it is not a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), so cannot compete at the Olympics. It is however a member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), since 1989, and so can compete at the Asian Games.

Paralympic Sport[edit]

Further information: Macau Paralympic Committee
Further information: Macau at the Paralympics

Macau has a National Paralympic Committee (NPC), and it is a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Macau has competed at the Paralympics since 1980.

References[edit]