Sat, Apr 04, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Ma endorses Taipei's bid to host 2015 Universiade

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday voiced his support for Taipei City Government's bid to host the 2015 Summer Universiade, saying it could help the development of sports in the country.

Ma said the government values sports development and the city has had a lot of experience hosting sports events.

“Taipei City is well prepared to host such an international sports event. We are ready in terms of sports facilities, talent and referees for the game,” Ma said at the Presidential Office during a meeting with Stefan Bergh, vice president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), and other members.

Ma said he had promoted swimming and other types of sports during his term as Taipei mayor.

The city government constructed 80 swimming pools in municipal schools under his administration and made swimming a requisite for elementary school students, he said.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who met Bergh earlier at Taipei City Hall, said that the city government would work on upgrading infrastructure and improving services to transform Taipei into a more convenient and comfortable city as the host of the event.

The FISU circulated the call for bids last September. Gwangju of South Korea and Edmonton of Canada are also bidding to host the games.

If Taipei wins the right to host the Universiade, it would be the third major international event held in the city after the Deaflympics in September and the Taipei International Gardening and Horticulture Exposition next year.

Under the city government's proposal, the event would be held at Taipei Arena, National Taiwan Sports University and several other universities in the city.

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