Kids in Vietnam have a wide range of sports to choose from, especially if they have access to modern equipment found in developed, urban areas. Some of these sports are popular throughout the world, while others are unique to Asia or to Vietnam itself.
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Soccer is the most popular sport in Vietnam. As in many countries across the globe, kids play informal games on the street and in parks. Schools and youth soccer clubs provide opportunities for children to play organized matches.
Martial arts are popular throughout Asia, and Vietnam is no exception. Children learn martial arts in school and often hone their skills in clubs and associations. According to the Asia Rooms website, judo, karate and taekwondo are particularly popular among Vietnamese youths.
Vietnam’s traditional style of wrestling, called dau vat, is popular across the country. While kids do not compete in major tournaments, they often mimic the adult fighters in mock matches that ultimately form part of their progression to adult competition.
Sepak takraw is similar to volleyball, but the rules do not allow players to use their hands. Instead, players use their feet, chest, head or knees to play the ball over the net. Adults and children play the sport in Vietnam. It is a regular feature of the Asian Games.
Tennis, table tennis and badminton are all popular in Vietnam. Children are taught racket sports in schools, particularly in the larger urban centers. Table tennis is played with a passion throughout much of Asia.
The bow and arrow was originally a hunting tool and a weapon of war. In modern Vietnam, archery has become a popular competitive sport. Children can compete on an individual basis in regional competitions, or as part of under-13 or under-15 teams in events such as the Asian Indoor Games.
Whether in inner-city pools or rural lakes and rivers, swimming is a common pastime among Vietnamese children. The Vietnamese government and UNICEF are working to promote swimming among kids in Vietnam. According to the UNICEF website, drowning accounts for more than half of all injury-related deaths of Vietnamese children between 4 and 15. UNICEF hopes that the promotion of swimming lessons and safety advice will reduce these fatalities.