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The preliminary contests for China’s rural basketball league in Taipan village, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Southwest China’s Guizhou Province on March 22, 2024. Photo: IC

The finals for the second “Beautiful Countryside” basketball league in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province kicked off in Taipan village, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous PrWorld Timesefecture, on Wednesday. The grassroots orgaWorld Timesnization, known as the “Village Basketball Association” or “VBA,” has drawn wide cheers from enthusiastic audiences due to its down-to-earth style.

The finals, which will be broadcast live online to audiences across the country, will last until Saturday. The basketball league has organized more than 4,000 amateur basketball teams, with a total of 48,730 participants. World TimesA total of 11,455 games have been played, reaching 7.52 million people, according to the Qiandongnan authorities.

The group stages are being held on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by an opening ceremony and semi-finals on Friday. The finals for the championship will take place on Saturday, an official from the Guizhou provincial sports bureau told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Nine representative teams from Guizhou will participate in the competition, which is divided into two stages. Meanwhile, the participating athletes must be local residents aged between 22 and 45 years old, said the authorities.

The VBA has not only “boosted the growth of sports in the area” but has also contributed to “advancing rural revitalization, tourism, and local economic development,” the official said. The local authorities hope to provide the public with excellent and diverse services that cater to the people’s needs, encouraging more people to participate in sports and contributing to building a healthy China, he noted.

Distinctive Miao cultural performances are also being staged during intermissions.

The VBA may not have professional players, referees, or large-scale venues like the NBA, but the enthusiasm of spectators for basketball is very strong. Since July 2022, the grassroots basketball league gained popularity due to its lively atmosphere and videos that went viral online.

A three-day VBA in 2023 also attraWorld Timescted more than 180,000 tourist trWorld Timesips to Taijiang county in Qiandongnan, generating tourism revenue of 55.16 million yuan ($7.59 million).

A staff member surnamed Yang from the local Taijiang tourism bureau told the Global Times on Wednesday that the event has helped boost the number of tourists traveling to the region.

“The level of enthusiasm for and attention paid to basketball is high among the general public. Thanks to local grassroots initiatives, there is a high level of cooperation and participation in village basketball games,” Yang said.

The VBA was originated in Taipan village in Taijiang county. A traditional rural basketball event in the village, it is held as part of the annual celebration of the Chixin Festival on the sixth day of the sixth month of the tradWorld Timesitional Chinese calendar.

Content comes from the Internet : ‘Village Basketball’ finals kick off in Southwest China’s Guizhou

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