Hockey camp helps children develop on and off the field

July 06, 2022 - 10:08
The event reduced the anxiety of families of children with intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome and autism and helped them learn a sport and integrate better into the community.


The children enjoyed many sports games at the summer camp this year. — Photo courtesy of the HCM City Hockey Federation

By Thanh Nga

After attending the Para Field Hockey Summer Camp, Hồ Duy Anh, is one very happy child.

Anh is 12 years old and autistic. The camp not only helped him learn a new sport but also gave him confidence and helped him interact socially with other children, something he struggled with before.

“I really love this event,” Anh's mother, Hồ Minh Nguyệt told Việt Nam News.

“Children with autism like my child will be stronger and more expansive. I was surprised that the children actively played and got acquainted with new friends.

“The children were very excited and they wanted to communicate with each other because they were also praised for playing.”

The 2022 Para Field Hockey Summer Camp with the theme "Olympic Family Day" took place at the weekend at the HCM City - based Sports Competition and Training Centre which was co-organised by the HCM City Hockey Federation and the Sports Community for the Vietnamese disabled.

The event reduced the anxiety of families of children with intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome and autism and helped them learn a sport and integrate better into the community.

These children often have difficulties in communication, language control, behaviour, and emotions when interacting with society and the world around them.

But through sporting activities, they often come out of their shells.

According to Nguyệt, after this summer camp, Anh become more interested in playing hockey and has taken up the sport at home.

"I can play with my child at home and through that, I can interact with him more,” she said.

“I really want events for disadvantaged children to be held more often. Events use sport to connect autistic children with normal children.”

Games helped the youngsters improve their concentration. — Photo courtesy of Nguyệt

Tuấn Nghĩa, whose son Thiên Phước also attended the camp, added: “Families of children with disabilities often have an isolated mentality, making it difficult for the children to integrate into the surrounding environment.

“Thanks to useful activities such as para hockey summer camp, the children have more playgrounds, meet and interact with more friends, and are more expansive in front of the crowd. At first, my child was quite passive, but since participating in sports such as swimming, football, baseball, and hockey, I see that my child is happier and more open day by day, I feel very happy."

The first para hockey summer camp was held in 2020, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was halted.

Events helped the youngster interact more with each other and make new friends. — Photo courtesy of the HCM City Hockey Federation

This year's camp was attended by 50 families. The children had access to hockey and participate in many sports games such as playing noughts and crosses with hockey and bowling with hockey.

This helped them improve concentration when constantly observing and controlling the direction of the puck's movement. In addition to improving fitness and health, the camp also helps children gain more confidence, enhance interaction, social communication, and improve their quality of life.

Nguyễn Hà Trường Hải, chairman of HCM City Hockey Federation said: “The summer camp model is not only for children but also for parents to have more time to interact, guide and play with their children. Participants learnt how to hold a bat and hit the puck, and exchanged with other families. We hope families will have an extra choice of a sport and a healthy playground for their children.”

The HCM City Hockey Federation is also planning to organise more events for disadvantaged children. In the future, the federation will train hockey for children in the SOS Children's village in Gò Vấp District for about two months then it will organise a game for them.

Hải added: “The HCM City Hockey Federation wishes to accompany the social community to support and create conditions for special children to participate in sports activities to help them become more confident in life”. VNS

A boy learns how to play field hockey. — Photo courtesy of the HCM City Hockey Federation