NTUPES & Amphitheaters: Making Taichung Taiwan's Sports Center
Text and photos by Taichung City Goverment
Pictures by National Taiwan University of
Physical Education and Sports
Translated by Ann Lee
Next February, National Taiwan College of Physical Education will undergo a name change. The 47-year-old learning institution will be renamed, Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sports. Although the switch seems like just a nonchalant replacement of "college" with "university", the substitution represents a big change in the further development of the school, as well as a NT$2 billion grant from the government. The university wants to build an on-campus amphitheater, which will hopefully become one of Taiwan's best sports arenas to hold any type of athletic event.
Established on June 2, 1961, the previously-named National Taiwan College of Physical Education is familiar to Taichung's locals. University President Su Wen-ren explained that, after the name change, the school will have five colleges: the Physical Education College, the Athletics & Sports College, the Leisure & Health Sports College, the Sports and Dance College, and the Physical Education and Sports Management College. Each college will have three to four departments. The university will eventually add more graduate and post-graduate courses, so students will have more academic choices. As the integration and policy changes occur, the National College of Physical Education and Sports (NCPES) campus in Taoyuan will merge with the campus in Taichung, increasing the number of students from about 2,800 to around 8,000.
Over the years, the NTUPES has had a good relationship with sports enthusiasts in Taichung; whenever athletic events are held on campus, a huge number of community members come out to watch, filling the stands with eager spectators. The addition of a quality amphitheater will make Taichungers proud of the university and the facilities everyone can enjoy.
When Taichung hosted the National College Sports Games in 2004, about 12,000 athletes participated in this six-day event, which brought a lot of business to the city. The Head of Division at NTUPES, Zhang Wu-long, said that the Sports Management Department estimated that about NT$400 million was brought into the city over those six days. In October, 2006, NTUPES worked with the Taichung government to host the All-Citizens Sports Games, in which 8,000 contestants participated. For five years in a row, NTUPES' freshman enrollment exams have brought about 6,000 students to Taichung for four days each year. All of these figures show that the university brings business into the city; with the addition of a nice amphitheater, it will attract in even more business.
In order to hold these large-scale sporting events successfully, you need professionals who know what they are doing--and NTUPES is full of just that. In 2007, while everyone was in baseball fever, the students and professors from the Sports & Athletics Department of NTUPES were cleaning up, managing the fields, and coordinating HR. The college's baseball team and the women's softball team also pitched in to make sure the event ran as smoothly as possible. The Taichung government has already received the authority to host the 2009 National Games, at which NTUPES will be organizing people into teams, selecting judges, managing the fields, and testing for drug use.
Creating Taiwan's Best Amphitheater
President Su believes that Taichung city is the best city in which to build a new sports arena, considering its geographical location and the convenience of its transportation system. The city also has a mild, year-round climate, which creates opportunities for outdoor games during the winter, as well.
Su also wants to give a special "thank you" to Mayor Jason Hu for his support in expanding the campus grounds with an additional five hectares. The city government has provided a lot of help for this project, which will take only five years to finish.