team debut in Hai Duong
HAI DUONG — Volleyball
has become a strong sport in Hai Duong Province over the past two decades along
with table tennis, athletics, shooting and canoeing.
But volleyball was the
first sport to enter the professional realm.
A co-operative venture
between the provincial sports administration and the Machine Installation
Corporation (Lilama) invested VND500 million (US$28,000) in cash to sponsor the
women’s volleyball team beginning this year.
The sum increased the
player’s income, giving them each VND1.5 million ($84) from the provincial
budget on top of the rest of their salary.
"The new sponsorship
will give us a boost for tournaments in the coming years. Our future employment
is also assured after we retire from the sport by the business," said team
captain Nguyen Thi Lo.
"We’re trying to
raise ourselves to one of the top 10 volleyball teams in the annual rankings.
Last year, the team ranked fifth among the 12 best teams in the premier
league," the captain added.
The 28-year-old says she
will get a job in business when she leaves the sport in a few years.
sportswomen must retire after they turn 30 and it can be difficult to find a job
after sport. For now, we enjoy taking the time to play all out on the
court," Lo said, adding that the team have a long way to go before becoming
a power house like Thai Binh, Long An or defending champions Military Signal
The new sponsorship also
helped the team strengthen their squad by recruiting key Thai player Patcharee
Sangmuang and coach Parakan Kumsadug last year.
"We have improved our
play with a new attacker and a new coach. They updated our
competitiveness," said assistant coach Nguyen Cong Huy.
"Two of our team
members, Pham Thi Thu Trang and Luu Thi Hao, have been selected to play for the
national team. New young players have lifted our squad, including Do Thi Xoan,
Nguyen Thi Quyen and Nguyen Thi Thuy, who have just finished a five-year
training course at the youth centre," Huy added.
The recent success of
volleyball has attracted businesses to invest in other sports, including table
tennis and canoeing.
"Early last year,
state-owned company Hoang Thach Cement poured VND400 million ($22,000) into a
table tennis team, while a canoeing team received VND100 million ($5,500) in
cash," said sport administration official Vu Dinh Thinh.
sponsoring sports as an effective advertising tool in response to the strong
showing of table tennis and volleyball in the province. Our players earn a cash
bonus with every win to supplement their income," Thinh explained.
Hai Duong is preparing for
the second stage of the National All-Stars Championship in HCM City and Binh
Duong in September. — VNS