Sport at the service of women’s liberation

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Women’s sports flourishing in Vietnam

Striker Huynh Nhu (right) is quick and dribbling.

Photo: VNA / CVN

In 2022, for the first time, the Vietnam women’s national football team qualified for the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in July and August in Australia and New Zealand. In May, she will have the opportunity to defend her gold medal at 31be The Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) will be held in 11 cities and provinces in northern Vietnam.

These outstanding results are especially related to the tireless efforts and strong determination of the entire team of course, especially Captain Cù Thi Huynh Nhu.

Football to fight gender discrimination

The 31-year-old striker is one of the few players to have long hair and a ponytail, along with striker Thanh Nha and midfielder Te Trang. Female soccer players often tend to cut their hair over their shoulders or keep it shorter to avoid heat and tangles while on the field. But the ponytail has been linked to Huynh Nhu ever since she started playing football over 25 years ago.

Huynh Nhu (left) is one of the few Vietnamese soccer players to wear long hair.

Photo: Phuong Nga / CVN

Her passion for the sport, she carries from her father, who was a member of a community team in the province of Tra Vinh, in the south. “When I was young, my father often took me to his club. I watched him train with such enthusiasm on the pitch, I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Football”Huynh Nhu shares with vietnam courier.

Growing up, the little girl hoped for only one thing: that her school hours would end as soon as possible so that she could play soccer with her friends until nightfall. “At that time, I often played with boys because no girls in our town did it. Almost all the residents thought it was a men’s sport”she explained.

In 2001, during her final year of primary school, Huynh Nhu made a name for herself when she became the only student to compete in the men’s tournament in Châu Thành District, Trà Vinh Province. Her performance was so much better than participating by outsmarting all the boys and even being crowned the tournament’s top scorer!

“When I’m on the field, I’m no longer a girl or a boy. I’m just a player on the team”she said mischievously.

Because of her talent, the coaches of this province’s women’s soccer team chose her, which was disbanded a few months later. Then the coaches introduced her to the Ho Chi Minh City team. So Huynh Nhu went to the southern megacities with an idea: “I go anywhere I can play football”.

Soon she became the star of this team, and then the national team. The latter notably led to two gold medals at the SEA Games 29 and 30, played respectively in 2017 in Myanmar and 2019 in the Philippines.

As an individual, Huynh Nhu has been elected the “Vietnamese Women’s Golden Ball” four times, first in 2016 and then three times in a row from 2019 to 2021, equaling Doàn Thi Kim Chi’s achievement.

Versatile striker

The talent of striker Huynh Nhu is widely known today.

Photo: CTV / CVN

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) described her as one of the most prolific footballers in Vietnam. For 11 years in the national team shirt, Huynh Nhu scored 50 goals (out of 56 matches), making her the top scorer in the activity. She plays well not only as a striker but also as a midfielder when the team needs to defend more.

The Vietnamese golden ball holder says she is “very lucky”. Football completely changed his life in a positive way, allowing him to discover himself. And even more: “It took me further than I could ever imagine.”.

Huynh Nhu’s talent is widely known today. “I think we have to change the idea that women are not as effective as men”confirms Lee Thi Huang Yen, deputy director of the General Administration of Physical Education and Sports.

According to her, the results of the Vietnamese women’s football team, its captain and female athletes in general are gradually helping to put an end to prejudices and other cliched ideas that we hear here and there in society.

“Vietnamese women are a source of pride for the country. National sports authorities have always counted on them to wear the colors of Vietnam in international competitions”concludes yen.

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