Amateur sports trainees in Vietnam are often the winners in competition with professional athletes in the race to be trained by famous coaches.
Despite none of the amateurs planning to follow a competitive sports career, preferring to train for fun and physical fitness, they are willing to pay expensive fees to train with talented coaches.
Most of them are young and come from wealthy families, and do not regret paying the expenses requested by the coaches.
In addition, a lot of coaches prefer working more independently and being able to spend more time one on one with amateurs than training athletes under the management of state agencies.
Mai Van Hoa is one of the most outstanding names in table tennis in Vietnam.
His family in Ho Chi Minh City has produced many well-known table tennis athletes, including Mai Xuan Hang, Mai Hoang My Trang, and Mai Van Minh.
After finishing their competitive careers, they have turned to a coaching career and have been welcomed by many wealthy parents to train their children.
Cao Dang Hung takes his 12-year-old son Cao Dang Huy three days a week from their home in Binh Chanh District to train with coach Minh in District 1.
“My son is learning at an international school in the city, where there is good infrastructure for their students to play sports,” the father said.
“Although the training is just for fun and fitness, I still want him to play it in the correct and most skillful manner.”
Another student of coach Minh is Thuy Chi, 12, who has made a lot of progress.
Chi’s mother, Thai Thi Thuy Duong, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that her daughter competes equally with players of the selected city team.
For tennis, Nguyen Dinh Bao Tri has emerged as one of the favorite names in coaching for wealthy parents who are willing to pay five or six times more than others to train their children.
It normally costs VND250,000 (US$11) an hour to train with a regular coach but it would be around VND1.5 million ($67) an hour to work with coach Tri.
A father in Go Vap District, Nguyen Phan Huan, admitted that he had made acquaintance with Tri many years before sending him a request to coach his two children.
Huan said he recommended the coach to other parents but Tri refused them all.
Similarly, the swimming class taught by Kieu Oanh at Yet Kieu Club in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City always attracts more learners than others because Oanh was an iconic swimmer of Vietnam and achieved so much during her competitive career.