Newly-appointed chairman of the HCM City Hockey Federation (HHF) Nguyễn Hà Trường Hải (right) and James Chew, CEO of Việt Nam Hockey Federation at the congress for establishment of the HHF in HCM City over the weekend. — Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Hà Trường Hải
HCM CITY — The HCM City Hockey Federation (HHF) was established over the weekend, marking what hockey lovers hope is an important milestone in the development of the sport in the city.
At the congress for establishment of the HHF in HCM City, Nguyễn Hà Trường Hải, CEO of Song Bảo Consulting Service Company, was selected as the chairman of the HHF.
The 39-year-old Hải has had more than 20 years of practising judo and coached judo from 2017 and though he has only been involved in hockey for a year, he has a level 1 coaching certificate.
“I want to try a new field. I want to serve hockey, a new sport for Vietnamese and bring awareness from local Vietnamese through the marketing process,” Hải told Việt Nam News.
With support from the HCM City Competition and Training Centre, International Hockey Federation and James Chew, CEO of the Việt Nam Hockey Federation, Hải started to develop hockey in HCM city last year.
“I have spent a year with hockey, eating with hockey, sleeping with hockey and today is a historic day for hockey in HCM City and the country,” said Hải.
“In the near future, the federation will launch programmes and projects to bring hockey closer to the community. We will work with schools to bring the subject to schools, looking for new players. In addition, we will implement the para hockey project for people with disabilities, organise training programmes for coaches, referees and local guides as well as implement the HCM City League Hockey system,” said Hải.
“My ambition is that in the first term I am in charge there will be a Southeast Asian (SEA) Games medal,” said Hải.
Field hockey is taught at two universities in HCM City including Tôn Đức Thắng and HCM City Sports University. — Photo courtesy of James Chew
According to Singaporean Chew, CEO of the Việt Nam Hockey Federation, field hockey started in Việt Nam in 2008 in HCM City.
In 2013, the national hockey team, mostly made up of players training in HCM City, participated in the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar, the first time a Vietnamese hockey team competed internationally. After that, the team represented Việt Nam in the 2016 World League qualifiers in Singapore and SEA Games 2017 in Malaysia.
After 12 years of development, 500 active hockey players are in HCM City and only a few are in Hà Nội and Đà Nẵng. The sport has developed faster in HCM City players because of the influence of foreign hockey players in the city.
Hockey has become an optional sport in the physical education programme. It is taught at two universities in the city including Tôn Đức Thắng and HCM City Sports University. In the near future, the subject will be taught at FPT University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, and HCM City University of Education and Sports.
“The many foreign international schools in HCM City also make increasing the number of players easier. The Australian, British International schools also adopted hockey,” Chew told Việt Nam News.
“The first hockey clubs including Tornados HC and Saigon International were also formed in 2008 in HCM City. Moreover, the first international Việt Nam Hockey Festival was organised in HCM City in November 2008,” Chew added.
Field hockey is developing in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of James Chew
Mai Bá Hùng, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Culture and Sport, represented the department to express his joy over the establishment of the federation.
“This is the 30th federation established under the management and supervision of the HCM City Department of Culture and Sport.
“I expect that the federation will be on the fast track to stabilising the organisational structure and consolidating the operational plan for the field hockey movement to rapidly flourish,” said Hùng. — VNS