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Japanese student presents 108 pairs of football shoes to Vietnamese children

Japanese student presents 108 pairs of football shoes to Vietnamese children

Tuesday, April 04, 2023, 10:55 GMT+7
Japanese student presents 108 pairs of football shoes to Vietnamese children
For many disadvantaged children, this is the first time they have received pairs of shoes in their sizes.

Takasago Nobuaki, an 18-year-old Japanese student, last Thursday gave 108 pairs of second-hand football shoes to disadvantaged children in Ho Chi Minh City.

The shoes were presented at the Quoc Hung Football Ground in District 8.

Nobuaki used to live in Vietnam with his father when he was 6-11 years old.

While most other Japanese people in other countries often live in Japanese towns, Nobuaki’s father, an international journalist, wanted his son to get practical experiences and approach the local lifestyle, so he sent him to a public football team in District 8 named Thanh Khiet FC.

Nobuaki realized that many members in the club did not have specialized football shoes. They wore various types of shoes.

During his trips to other provinces in Vietnam, Nobuaki was shocked when seeing many boys in rural areas playing football barefoot. It was too difficult for their families to afford football shoes.

Returning to Japan, Nobuaki saw his friends get rid of their shoes which were used once or twice so he decided to collect these pairs of shoes and give them to children in Vietnam.

He collected 108 pairs of shoes which remain in good conditions and sent them to Vietnam at the end of last month.

Tran Thanh Mai, 15, the only female trainee of Thanh Khiet FC, was among those receiving the shoes from Nobuaki.

She no longer has to wear a ragged pair of shoes repaired with glue and staples.

She said, “I am moved and happy. [I’m] so happy that I cannot cry. I smile during the presentation.”

N.M.H., a 13-year-old footballer whose father died of COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic in August 2021 and whose mother suffers depression, also received a pair of shoes from Nobuaki.

Huynh Thi Thanh Khiet, the coach of the Thanh Khiet club, has patiently convinced and supported H. to return to the club as she believes that football is a team sport, so teamwork and happiness in practice will help H.. 

Takasago Nobuaki, coach Thanh Khiet, and children in Ho Chi Minh City receive shoes and pose for a photo.

Takasago Nobuaki, coach Thanh Khiet, and children in Ho Chi Minh City receive shoes and pose for a photo.

Receiving the shoes from Nobuaki, H. was happy, saying that if his father knows he has such a good pair of shoes, he will be happy too.

Nguyen Chi Tai, 13, residing in a rented house in a poor neighborhood in District 8, earlier had to borrow shoes from other members of the club regardless of their sizes.

Having his own shoes in his size, he said Nobuaki is like a Santa Claus appearing in March.

Nobuaki hopes to give shoes to more Vietnamese children, especially those with great passion for football in rural and remote areas.

He said he was inspired to live meaningfully and nurture the sporting spirit by coach Huynh Thi Thanh Khiet, who taught Nobuaki to play football during the four years he was at Thanh Khiet FC from 2012 to 2016.

Khiet, currently secretary to the head coach of the Vietnamese women's national futsal team and the head coach of the Ho Chi Minh City women's futsal team, uses her whole heart to train and always seeks ways to help underprivileged children pursue their football passion.

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Thanh Ha - Dam Ha Phu / Tuoi Tre News

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