In recent years, Hsinchu County has successively built sports centers, sports parks, and other recreational facilities, and has held sporting events to inject a spirit of athletic DNA into the city. This year, the county is holding the “2022 Hsinchu County Summer Sports iTaiwan. Sports Season,” a series of activities pioneering a combination of sports and augmented reality (AR) where people can interact with reality through a screen and learn about local history and culture all while exercising. Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke, along with the Education Bureau and Hsinchu County Sports Association, held a press conference today (7/12) to announce the official start of the event. Six large-scale events will be held from the end of August to the end of September. People of all ages are encouraged to go outdoors, interact with AR, and brush up on local history.
Along with distinguished guests in attendance, Magistrate Yang officially kicked off the “2022 Hsinchu County Summer Sports iTaiwan. Sports Season.” An onsite expert demonstrated the use of AR, where at first images of the press conference appear on the screen, but suddenly audiences find themselves submerged in a vast ocean, where the audience can interact with marine life, causing quite a stir.
Yang says that these are special events where technology is used to promote AR running. By using the AR app, participants will be able to see and hear the stories and histories of the local communities while on a run or walk. Another unique event is the bicycle climbing race from Hexing Station up to the Yulao Lookout in Jianshih Township, which is a very challenging event, but which everyone’s encouraged to attend.
“Sports for all” is the current movement. Municipal governments also attach great importance to sports by establishing the Zhubei National Sports Center, Hukou Wangyelong Sports Park, and an international standard skating rink. The Touchien-hsi Ecological Park provides basketball, baseball, football, croquet fields and trails, while the Zhudong Sports Center, which will be completed in 2024, will also have improved sporting facilities, allowing local residents to workout anytime at different spots throughout the County. The municipal government will also organize various sports activities to meet the needs of the public. Next year, Hsinchu County will host the National High School Games to promote sports, as well as to celebrate Hsinchu County as a technologically smart city.
The Hsinchu County Sports Association states that the “2022 Hsinchu County Summer Sports iTaiwan. Sports Season” will hold a series of activities: on August 20th, the “Sports Carnival” will be held at the croquet field at Zhudong Riverside Park. Activities such as dance, Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS), croquet, and equestrian will allow the public to spend a lovely weekend experiencing sporting events in a casual and fun way. On September 4th, the “Hsinchu County National Sports Day Commendation and National Aerobic Carnival for Multi-Sports Activities” will be held at the county hall square. In addition to celebrating outstanding athletes in the county, everyone will get to experience aerobics and the thrill of sweating.
In addition to the two site-specific activities, there are also 3 “National AR Challenge Run” and “Hsinchu County Yulao Cycling Gathering GO” events being held in Zhubei, Hukou, and Beipu. The AR Run Challenge through Zhubei will be on August 27th. The race will pass through the Xinglong Road embankment and Dongxingzhen Park. The theme is an “oceanic world.” By answering AR questions, participants will learn about the history of Dongxingzhen. At Hukou, the run will take place on September 17th, where the history of Sanyuan Palace, a center of religious belief, will be introduced, and participants will answer questions about Hukou Old Street. The Beipu race will be on September 24th. The race will pass through Beipu Old Street, the most densely populated historical neighborhood in Taiwan. AR will allow runners to be immersed in the old-world charm of Beipu while learn about the history of its landmarks.
The last event to be held is the “Hsinchu County Yulao Cycling Gathering GO,” where cyclists will begin at the beautiful Hexing Love Station on the Neiwan Line of the Taiwan Railway, pass through Neiwan and Jianshi, and pedal uphill to the Yulao Lookout, 1,450 meters above sea level, overlooking Yufeng Village to the East and Naluo Valley to the West with incredible views. After the race, cyclists can return to Hexing Station and attend a music festival that’ll re-energize their tired bodies and spirit.