The encouragement of organised sport is part of the official programme of the People's Revolutionary government in South Vietnam.
The encouragement of organised sport is part of the official programme of the People's Revolutionary government in South Vietnam. In one way, the authorities are fortunate. Luxury clubs, built before the revolution, and once used by the French, the Americans, and rich Vietnamese, are still there; now they are being turned over to the students and young workers of South Vietnam.
A recent party statement said that tennis, horse-racing, water ski-ing and yachting would all be encouraged; but not golf. A golf course built by the Americans on the outskirts of Saigon is to be turned into football pitches. All students and factory workers are also to be taught gymnastics, with the idea of improving national fitness.
Already the students and other young people have taken possession of the grounds of the exclusive clubs. They can be found there playing casual games of football, volley-ball or basket-ball. the Nautical Club provides a well-equipped swimming pool, well up to standard for organised events. Tennis tournaments are developing a fairly high standard of play. the younger children amuse themselves in the club grounds by having a tug-of-war. And all the young people find these big open spaces an ideal place to enjoy a picnic meal.
The moving spirit in this drive to encourage sport in Saigon is Truong Tan Buu, now the official Director of Saigon Sport and Gymnastic Organisation. Many years ago, when the French were in Vietnam, he was a famous footballer. In the meantime, he has served first with the Viet Minh and then the National Liberation Front. He returned to Saigon after the revolutionary forces took over the city last year, and was put in charge of the development of sport and physical recreation.
SYNOPSIS: The tennis tournament is taking place in Saigon -- part of the programme of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam to develop organised sport, particularly for students and young workers.
Troung Tan Buu, on the let, who directs the programme, used to be a famous footballer when the French ruled Vietnam. He served with the National Liberation Front, and returned to Saigon after the revolution.
In one way the authorities have been fortunate. there were a number of luxury clubs in and around Saigon, where the French, the Americans and rich Vietnamese used to spend their leisure. Now they have been taken over for the young people of the city.
The Nautical Club, for instance, has a well-equipped swimming pool, quite up to standard for organised events. South Vietnamese, trained in facilities like these, could soon provide formidable competition in the international field.
Basket ball is popular in Saigon -- and of course football. One game that is not being encouraged is golf. A golf course which the Americans built for themselves on the outskirts of the city is to be turned over to football pitches.
The youngest generation in any country defy organisation. The battle of the sexes seems to be universal, too.
The big empty grounds of he once-luxurious sports clubs have plenty of room for the young people to make camp fires and cook themselves a meal. This is all in tune with the image which the Provisional Revolutionary Government wants to promote of simplicity and self-reliance, in contrast to the sophistication of former Saigon city life. Students and factory workers are also all to be taught gymnastics, in the drive for national fitness.