Tsinghua Story | Things you didn't know about Tsinghua Sports

In just 40 days, Tsinghua University will mark the 110th anniversary of its founding. In celebration of the fast-approaching anniversary, we have put together a special “Things You Didn’t Know About Tsinghua” series for you. Follow the series and discover interesting historical facts you probably did not know about the University.

For the first part of the series, we bring you the story of some unique sports that began to be played at the University. Let’s find out more about Tsinghua’s past and experience the spirit of Tsinghua that transcends generations.

Tsinghua Story #1

Tsinghua has focused on physical training since its early days. After it was founded in 1911, Tsinghua University put forward the concept that "students must pass physical education to graduate."

Tsinghua has continuously upheld the 8-1 > 8 concept, which means that one hour of exercise every day is more effective than studying all eight hours. Sports is a way of life for TsinghuaRen. From morning to night, there are people running laps on the athletic fields, including students, athletes, faculty of all ages, and staff.

Not only athletics and ball sports, in 1955, Tsinghua University also established a motorcycle sports team. The captain of the Capital Guard Division Motorcycle Battalion was invited to be the instructor.  

The students were trained for the road and cross-country races. During the period, many members participated in various competitions and ranked high. On weekends, the members went to the playground outside the northwest gate of the Old Summer Palace, and they practiced general driving and various stunts, such as jumping craters and mounds, 180°, 360° sharp turns, as part of the training.

Tsinghua Shooting Team is one of the elite Tsinghua Student Sports Teams and a component of the National Shooting Team. In the 1950s, the Tsinghua Shooting Range was outside the gate of the Northwest School and inside the wall at the southeast corner of the Old Summer Palace. This small shooting range was very rudimentary, and it was dug out by the shooting players themselves, shovel by shovel.

In 1983, as the only fencing team in Beijing colleges and universities (non-sports major), the Tsinghua fencing team represented Beijing universities in the individual fencing competition of the 4th Beijing Games. During that time, fencing was considered a noble sport, and the equipment was expensive and protective gear was a luxury. The fencing team could only use the rusty straight-handled sword and simple protective clothing that the instructors worked so hard to acquire.

In the past 110 years, sports has always been a key element in Tsinghua, shaping generations of TsinghuaRen’s values as the slogan says, “Without sports, there is no Tsinghua”. The common practice of physical training is an impassioned march composed by TsinghuaRen, eternally playing in Tsinghua’s past and future.

Writer: Soon Yu

Editors: Sangeet Sangroula, Lin Yuan

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