This year, the baton for hosting the Liudui Sports Competition — affectionately known as "the Olympics of Dawu Mountain" — was passed to Wanluan Township in Pingtung County, located in the "Xianfengdui" ("Vanguard") portion of Liudui. Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) Minister Lee Yung-te, who himself hails from the southern Hakka region of Liudui, participated in the festivities on April 29, 2017. With great enthusiasm, Lee exclaimed that the Liudui Sports Competition is an athletic meet richly endowed with culture, and he anticipates that passing on this spirit to younger generations will reinvigorate Hakka villages in the Liudui region with more energy to develop and prosper.
The 2017 Liudui Festival: 52nd Liudui Sports Game was jointly held by the HAC and Pingtung County Government, and this year's event centered on the theme "Liudui United", which is a nod to Liudui's storied history — in earlier times, local militia groups had to unite together during periods of strife in order to protect their homes and families.
As Minister Lee Yung-te explained, Hakka settlers first arrived in the Pingtung Plain at the foot of Dawu Mountain three centuries ago. Over the years, they steadily carved out new lives for themselves and also had to band together into militia groups during times of upheaval. Years later, an annual athletic event was established to continue these traditions and pass on the Liudui spirit of "defending family and country".
This year, to help keep the history of Liudui alive for younger generations, twelve townships in the Pingtung-Kaohsiung area joined together to hold the Liudui Sports Competition. This athletic meet is richly endowed with historical and cultural significance and is now the most unique and compelling event of its kind in Taiwan. By continuing to pass along this spirit to the next generation, it is anticipated that the event will touch more hearts in Liudui and reinvigorate the area, thereby elevating "Beautiful Liudui" into a Hakka Village on a par with other areas along Provincial Highway 3.