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Some national team players showing the Kamito sponsored uniforms. Photo courtesy of James Chew
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, initiatives aimed at promoting and developing field hockey have slowly regained momentum, injecting new life into the sport.

The current focus of hockey lies in nurturing and expanding the player base in HCM City, where a significant number of Vietnamese and expatriate hockey enthusiasts reside.

Collaborative efforts between the HCM City Hockey Association, the HCM City Sports Department and the Việt Nam Olympics Committee have paved the way for plans to foster the sport's development. A notable milestone in this endeavour is the establishment of the first-ever hockey academy in HCM City, marking a crucial step towards a systematic and professional approach.

Field hockey made its debut in Việt Nam back in 2007, with clubs primarily flourishing in HCM City and Đà Nẵng. In recent years, the number of hockey enthusiasts actively participating in practice has surged. The formation of the HCM City Hockey Federation in 2020 marked a significant milestone, bringing hockey even closer to the local community.

In the pursuit of advancing the sport, the newly inaugurated First Hockey Academy assumes a pivotal role.

"We have set up five hockey venues managed by the hockey academy, providing a professional and reliable training environment for young players to unleash their maximum potential and become skilled and accomplished hockey players," James Chew, CEO of the Việt Nam Hockey Federation, told Việt Nam News.

The academy, which opened its doors on April 13, places emphasis on intensive training, raising awareness, employing quality coaches, offering state-of-the-art facilities, and providing ample opportunities for competition and career development.

According to Chew, numerous students from the HCM City Sports University are now diligently training in the sport and have acquired coaching badges, demonstrating their readiness to propel hockey's growth in Việt Nam.

Coinciding with the grand opening of the first hockey academy in Việt Nam, the HCM City Hockey Federation inked a cooperation agreement with the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Federation of Malaysia, aiming to foster development and elevate the skill level of athletes in both countries, as well as across Southeast Asia.

Nguyễn Hà Trường Hải, chairman of the HCM City Hockey Federation, said that the agreement aims to strengthen coordination in organising training courses, granting national and international coaching and referee certifications, arranging competitions, developing training curricula, establishing a team of hockey coaches, and providing support in terms of human resources, facilities and equipment for hockey.

In another exciting development, the Vietnamese women's national hockey team are gearing up to participate in the Asia Cup Indoor Hockey tournament in Bangkok from May 13-16, marking their debut on the international hockey stage.

This event will include ten countries, including Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Iran, Nepal, Oman, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Việt Nam. The top three teams will secure qualification for the World Cup to be held in Croatia in February 2025.

"We anticipate that the Vietnamese team will gain invaluable experience from this tournament as we take another step forward in preparation for the 33rd SEA Games in Bangkok in December 2025," Chew said.

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Hockey training for the Asia Cup at the University of Sport HCM City. — Photo courtesy of James Chew

"All the events are meticulously planned to ensure comprehensive coverage of hockey development. First, we train players to achieve high performance standards for competitive play. Second, we focus on qualifying coaches, umpires and technical personnel. In doing so, we aim to foster the growth of hockey in Việt Nam within a well-rounded ecosystem." 

Furthermore, the HCM City Hockey Federation received a generous boost when sports fashion brand Kamito, under Midomax Việt Nam Joint Stock Company, extended their support by providing uniforms for the hockey national teams for three years.  VNS