Monday , May 27 2024

Strong effort, huge investment to lift national sport development


Vietnamese athletes and coaches at the 32nd SEA Games in May in Cambodia. Viêt Nam will need more effort and investment to achieve better results in Asia and world competitions. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI  A huge amount of cash and suitable, achievable plans are needed to help Vietnamese athletes win Olympic medals.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism organised a conference in Hà Nội on Thursday discussing how to push national elite sport for the rest of the decade in Hà Nội.

The meeting was held after Việt Nam’s different performances at the important 32nd SEA Games in May in Cambodia and the 19th Asian Games in September in China, which reflected the country’s success and achievements but also failures, shortcomings and limitations.

Việt Nam was number one at the regional Games with 136 golds, leaving all other rivals far behind. However, months later, at the continental event, the country struggled and only finished with three titles putting Việt Nam in sixth position in Southeast Asia. 

This is no surprise. In other, recent Asian Games and Olympics, Việt Nam struggled.

Slow development

According to the Sports Authority of Việt Nam (SAV) the main reasons were the limited resources for talented young athletes; poor physical strength and stature of Vietnamese people and athletes, shortage of high-quality domestic coaches and a lack of foreign experts.

In addition, training and competition facilities were not enough and in poor quality. Athletes did not have enough international intensive training courses due to funding problems while the domestic competition system was ineffective.

“After years of effort, the national elite sports have made incredible progress, affirming its position in the Southeast Asian region and initially approaching the continental and world levels,” said SAV Director Đặng Hà Việt.

“However, the development of elite sports in our country cannot compare to other countries on the continent and the world. We are facing huge challenges that require innovation in thinking of managers and ways of developing sport.”

Việt added that Việt Nam’s poor score in Asia and the world was also due to increasingly high competitiveness between countries.

The director, who has taken charge the sport authority for one year and a half, suggested several solutions.

He said it was necessary to make clear plans in which sports must be divided into groups and the national strong ones should be picked out and receive strong investment to win gold at the 2026 Asian Games and 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

Representatives take part in a conference about Việt Nam’s sports development from 2024 to 2030. Photo

The next acts are to improve and modernise facilities and training activity quality at national sport centres; to have special regimes and policies for athletes and coaches to attract more talent; and to develop and apply medical science and technology in training methods.

He said socialisation in sports and sports economy development was needed to have more financial resources for all training and competing activities, and taking care of sportsmen.

At the conference, sports officials also set a target to reach in 2030 in all level competitions.

Accordingly, Việt Nam must be in the top three in all SEA Games editions. At the 2026 Asian Games in Japan, the team must win from five to six golds while it must be up to eight at the 2030 Games in Qatar.

At the 2024 Olympics, Việt Nam should have from 16-18 representatives in different sports including cycling, shooting, swimming, athletics, weightlifting, gymnastics, taekwondo, boxing, rowing, archery, and badminton.

Four years later, at least 20 athletes must qualify for the Los Angeles Olympics.

Large investment need

As in statistics, budgets for elite sports in 2022 were more than VNĐ686 billion (US$28 million) and VNĐ710 billion ($29 million) in 2023.

These amounts served all activities such as meals, salaries, regimes, domestic and international training courses, hiring trainers, nutrition and supplements among others of thousands of coaches, athletes and experts.


Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng is the first Vietnamese athlete to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024. VNA/VNS Photo

 With such small budgets, it was difficult to ask athletes to earn high results internationally.

The sport authority estimated that as much as VNĐ6,000 billion ($245 million) would be needed to raise the level of Vietnamese sports, towards important tournaments. The investment will be spent in two phases.

In the first phase from 2024 to 2026, the top priority is to focus on building plans to select, train, and prepare good-quality athletes to attend the 2024 Olympics, 2025 SEA Games and 2026 Asian Games.

At the same time, facilities will be upgraded and equipped with training equipment, vehicles and tools at international standards.

About VNĐ800 billion ($32.7 million) per year is needed, equivalent to VNĐ2,400 billion ($98 million) for three years.

In the second phase from 2027 to 2030, the sport sector will implement training and competition plans domestically and internationally. Athletes will intensively prepare to qualify and attend the Olympics in 2028, Asian Games in 2030 and SEA Games in 2027 and 2029.

A budget of VNĐ3,600 billion ($146.8 million) will be used for these tasks.

The sport authority said the finance would come from the state’s and localities’ budgets and socialisation sources such as sponsorship and mobilisation from domestic and foreign organisations and individuals. VNS


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