Young kids take up roller skating in Vietnam
Young children, including preschoolers, in several Vietnamese cities have begun acquiring and mastering the skills of roller-skating in recent years.
In 2009, Nguyen Phuc Thinh, who graduated from a Singaporean school in roller skating, founded a center in Ho Chi Minh City which offers roller skating lessons at clients’ homes, according to the center’s Facebook page.
Over 500 students, aged from three to 50, have enrolled in the school’s courses.
Among them, many are elementary students and even preschoolers.
One of Thinh’s outstanding young students is Tuan Kiet, who is only 2.5 years old and cannot even speak fluently, local newswire VnExpress reported.
Thinh said he was quite concerned as Kiet was so small, but finally decided to give the little boy a chance.
While it generally takes new practitioners around four hours to balance on the rollers, the little boy, who is also his youngest student so far, could perform basic maneuvers after just 30 minutes, much to his tutor’s and parents’ amazement, Thinh said.
The kid made astonishing progress after just 10 days and can now perform technically-demanding maneuvers including climbing stairs, going over hurdles, and sliding “downhill” with stunning finesse.
Thinh noted that regular roller skating with different difficulty levels can enhance young children’s agility and flexibility and boost their physical growth.
Meanwhile, Phuong Anh, 3, is also hugely popular at a roller skating club in Ho Chi Minh City for her incredible skills on the rollers.
Video clips recording Anh’s and Kiet’s skillful maneuvers have drawn a large number of online views.
Similarly, Hong Ngoc, 28 months old, was sent to a roller skating class several weeks ago.
Her father was initially reluctant to engage her in the sport for fear of injuries, but decided to give it a go after a discussion with her instructor.
She has now mastered basic moves and enjoys herself a lot.
Over the past two months, Nguyen Anh Quan and his wife have brought their seven-year-old twin girls to one of Thinh’s classes every afternoon.
The practice is meant to be a hobby, exercise, and physical therapy for the girls, as the elder of the twins is sick and has difficulty moving.
The little girl had considerable difficulty at first, but she and her twin sister are now making surprising progress.
A youngster is seen performing an inline skating maneuver in the central city of Da Nang . Photo: Tuoi Tre
In the past few years, youngsters in Hanoi have been drawn to inline skating, in which rollers’ wheels are installed in one line.
Inline skating involves more rigorous yet flexible moves compared to conventional roller skating.
After stumbling upon information on the novel sport in 2013, Tran Thi Huong Giang decided to switch from an exporting and publicity job to playing the sport and opening a club.
Giang’s club now has a membership of around 100, most of whom are teenagers and youths, including those as young as four years old.
One of the key elements to good practice is a pair of specialized shoes, which can cost between VND3 million (US$140) and VND7 million ($326), and a standard helmet.
Inline skaters can travel at speeds of around 40 kilometers and up to 80 kilometers an hour, and perform dexterous maneuvers depending on the sub-categories, such as Slide, Aggressive, and Speed, which they are involved in.
Inline skating was first introduced to young people in the central city of Da Nang in late 2009.
Practitioners have formed some clubs, who often drill and perform in 23/9 Park and other areas.
“It takes around one month to do basic moves and two years of rigorous practice to perform professionally. Scratches and bruises are common for new practitioners,” said Hoang Thanh, 27, who introduced the sport to the city’s youths in 2010.
Hoang Gia Bach, one of the local players, has awed spectators with his skills since 2010, when he was eight years old.