Life Life

27/07/2022 - 08:26

"Fire" for ethnic sports sustained

Though not as exciting as the high-performance sports, the ethnic sports are creating the features of their own through preservation, promotion and always appeal right on the "ring".

A stick pushing competition

Always appealing

At the "Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival for Mountain Ethnic Minorities" in 2022, the appeal of the ethnic sports competition was once again witnessed. From crossbow shooting, stick pushing to tug of war, the heat was not only on the ring of athletes but also with the cheers of a large audience.

Nguyen Thien Duc, a neutral fan of the teams shared, "The enthusiasm and unique feature of ethnic sports fascinate me".

The ethnic sports that do not appear as often as high-performance sports tournaments are indispensable at the cultural and sport exchange festivals and at the physical training and sports (PTAS) festivals. Every time the festival is held, hundreds or thousands of people come to see.

It is recollected that in 2019, during the Cultural, Sports and Tourism Exchange Festival for Ethnic Minorities in 5 provinces in the Vietnam-Laos border region, the Central region, and the Central Highlands in A Luoi, the sports such as volleyball, stick pushing, crossbow shooting and tug of war attracted nearly 300 athletes from the ethnic minorities in Kon Tum, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue (two districts of A Luoi, Nam Dong).

Worthy of note was that even though they wholeheartedly cheered the home team, when the opponent lost the match, they gave rounds of applause and enthusiastic words of encouragement. The tournament ended with success not only in the spirit of fair play among the teams, but also fair play among the cheerleaders.

An A Luoi athlete competing in crossbow shooting

The maintenance of training is a vital factor for the success of these mass sports. In the two highland districts of Nam Dong and A Luoi, the movement of training ethnic sports is quite positive. Ahead of the festival of traditional sports competition, the competitive teams spend many weeks training and organizing the competitions in hamlets and villages to increase the experience of competition

Ho Thi Tuong, a female athlete in crossbow shooting at A Luoi said, “Training hard is needed to be effective in competition. Crossbow shooting is a sport that requires calm psychology; it is vital to focus, hold your breath and aim accurately and firmly when you pull the trigger. Put yourself in the tournament; training is just as tense and appealing as competing.”

Ms. Le Thi Them, Head of A Luoi District Culture and Information Division judged that along with modern sports, the ethnic people still preserve and excite ethnic sports through the movement of training to competition, with the considerable number of athletes joining in the tournaments. Typically, the tournament of tug of war, crossbow shooting, and stick pushing within the framework of the 9th District PTAS Festival in 2021-2022 attracted up to 331 male and female athletes from 15 participating units.

“Fire” sustained and promoted

Back in time, rooted in life, with the development history and folk philosophies of the highland ethnic groups, many games, and activities of life and production formed and step by step developed into the attractive sports in accordance with the conditions of each area, including tug of war, stick pushing, and crossbow shooting.

With life development, the sports have the opportunity to be invested. The preservation and development of traditional sports not only contributes to improving the spiritual life but also promotes the unique cultural values ​​of the ethnic minorities.

A Luoi athletes competing in the tug of war

In fact, the ethnic sports are no longer a private story of each community, but have been codified. The 2006 Law on Physical Training and Sports has the regulations on ethnic sports, whereby the State has the policy to protect and promote ethnic sports as stipulated by the Law on Cultural Heritage; to encourage organizations and individuals to participate in exploiting and developing ethnic sports, to focus on the types of sports of ethnic minorities.

With the guidelines, mechanisms and resources supported by the State, the ethnic sports are being invested in the right direction. Evidence showed that in A Luoi highland district, apart from the construction and completion of PTAS training fields from the hamlet and village levels, the localities have provided favorable conditions for the ethnic sports teams and clubs to come into being, maintain activities, actively train and organize exchange competitions, creating a vibrant PTAS movement.

Mr. Le Ngoc Tu, Head of PTAS Management Division (Department of Culture and Sports) said that together with the districts to incorporate ethnic sports into competition at festivals, the province's cultural and sports sector also always organize the ethnic sports at the province's largest sports "playground" every 4 years (the Provincial PTAS Festival). In addition, it enables units and athletes to join in tournaments in the Central Region - Central Highlands. Simultaneously, it maintains and invests in ethnic sports during the culture, sports and tourism festivals organized every 2 years.

Aside from preserving and developing tournaments, the sports sector also strives to mobilize socialization resources to sponsor traditional sports activities in order to "sustain fire" for the movement for traditional sports development

Story and photos: Huu Phuc