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When Vietnamese politicians play sport

For these Vietnamese politicians, sport is not only a means of keeping fit and relieving stress but also a way of bonding with colleagues and connecting with citizens.

Ha Quang Du, a former minister, is one of the politicians having an endless passion for sport.

Despite having retired many years ago, Du stills maintains his habit of playing tennis three times a week.

The 73-year-old is an unstoppable contender on the tennis court, with his colleagues unable to keep up during their friendly games.

According to the ex-official, he often spends up to three hours on court during each practice session.

Du’s zeal for sport began when he was a young man living in a mountainous part of the northern province of Tuyen Quang.

“I was keen on all types of ball games, from football, volleyball, to table tennis, although I was not very tall. I mainly played ping pong during high school and started to practice running and swimming at university,” Du recalled.

In 1992, he became the minister and chairman of the Sports and Physical Education Committee.

His passion for sport did not subside after he was appointed. The former official was granted a racket, an outfit and a pair of shoes to play tennis with Vo Van Kiet, the prime minister at the time.

“Tennis was a new sport in Vietnam during the 1990s. As a sports official with the honorable gifts from the premier, I decided to practice it,” Du said.

“After three lessons on basic techniques, I tried to spend time on the tennis court every day after work,” he continued.

When Vietnamese politicians play sport

Ha Quang Du, Vietnam’s former minister, plays tennis at Ba Dinh Sports Center in Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Despite the busy schedule of the high-ranking politician, who would not finish work until 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm, Du still managed to save time for the sport.

“My job involved regular trips to several provinces. Tennis helped me bond with leaders in these areas,” Du elaborated.

“Sport is not just a way to stay healthy but it also helped me, a politician, get close to others,” he remarked.

Leaders and their love for sport

A leader with enthusiasm for sport inspires citizens to pay more attention to their physical health and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is a regular attendee at matches of the Vietnamese national football team at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.

Deputy Premier Vu Duc Dam is also a football lover and plays for the team of the Government Office.

After assuming his current position, Dam has participated in the Olympic Day Run at Ho Guom (Sword Lake) in the Vietnamese capital, inspiring local residents with his passion for fitness.

Dinh La Thang, secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, is quite a famous name in football.

Despite his high-ranking position as a politician, Thang continues to pursue his passion for the game by playing at several friendly tournaments, and is a permanent fixture in major football games.

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