|Newcomers: Field hockey is not a common sport in Viet Nam, however a national team has been set up to compete at their first official tournament at the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar this month. — Photo panoramio.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's field hockey team will make history when, for the first time, it competes at the SEA Games during this week's first international tournament.
The sport, which has been played in Viet Nam for about 10 years but has not become popular, also marks its return to the regional biennial tournament after eight years, since last being played during the Games in 2005 in Manila, the Philippines.
Although field hockey is a newcomer at the SEA Games, and all members are not professional athletes, the Vietnamese set a target of winning a bronze medal during their debut competition.
"We have always dreamed that one day we could wear the national jersey. Now it comes true, surprisingly. I and my teammates all know our responsibilities when representing Viet Nam in this regional competition. We will try our best to write a story," said Huynh Dai Phuc, one of the most experienced players on the team.
"We hope that through these games, field hockey will be more widely popularised in our country, and more people will come and the sport will develop strongly," said the coach assistant.
The 17-member team will depart on December 11 and meet the Singapore team in their first match at Thein Phyu Stadium in Yangon City.
At the 27th SEA Games there are five teams competing in the men's tournament and six in the women's (Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Myanmar). — VNS