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The career of Nguyen Hong Son as a football star from 1995 to 2001 ended long time ago. But his attachment to the round ball and love for soccer shine through when the public saw him take on a new role: the coach of kid footballers in the TV show ‘Cau thu ti hon’ which appears on 10h30 every Saturday morning in VTV3 channel.
‘Cau thu ti hon’ is sponsored by Lotte Group’s Vietnam-based members including Lotteria.
The new TV duty has proven quite challenging to Son, whose track record as a senior footballer and experience in training teenagers and adult players are seemingly insufficient to teach children from ages 6 to 8 who would rather play games than follow a coach’s instructions.
Specifically, Son is charged with forming a strong kid footballer team and making the most of each member’s ability.
"His is one of the reasons motivating us to further finance programmes earmarked to Vietnamese children." - Cho Young jin Lotteria Company Limited general director
Son and his assistants discovered that a sense of unity and the burning love to football of each team member were the most important factors in shaping a team. This ‘key’ would help the training board release the potential of each team member.
The kid footballers got practical lessons to help them cultivate team spirit—essential in playing that king of sport. For instance, the kids were told not to point their finger to others, instead they should communicate in a smart way.
Coach Son has become proud that his kid footballers have combined with each other more smoothly when playing, passing the ball to each other to seek opportunities, and taking care of those who incur pains. They happily celebrate when any team member scores a goal.
Son and the training board’s constant efforts paid off when the team ‘Cau thu ti hon’ won the first prize at Lotteria Cup 2011 and the second prize at the competition in 2012. Lotteria Cup is an annual competition for kid footballers that made its debut in 2011. It has grown into a favourite playground, attracting scores of pint-sized footballers in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Since the launching of ‘Cau thu ti hon’ programme, many young footballer training centres have cut the recruitment age to six years from the previous eight to ten years.
Programmes and competitions designed for the kids such as Cau thu ti hon or Lotteria Cup need to be replicated. In fact, although there exist several hundreds of mini stadiums in localities throughout the country, there is no formal playground now in place as well as regular stadiums reserved for the kids.
“This is one of the reasons motivating us to further finance programmes earmarked to Vietnamese children. ‘Cau thu ti hon’ serves in our menu as a sort of re-investment to help the kids reach their dream, ” said Lotteria Company Limited general dirctor Cho Young Jin, who traveled to Vietnam to receive the medal ‘for peace and friendship between nations’ donated by Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO).
Lotteria is part of South Korea-based Lotte Group, Korean fifth leading group operating in diverse fields of distribution, food, heavy chemicals, credit, construction and tourism.
Through funding the TV show ‘Cau thu ti hon’ and Lotteria Cup, Lotteria aims to create a more adhesive society by combining the burning passions for playing football among Vietnamese kids.
Lotteria efforts are contributing to shaping a generation of young footballers, and laying a foundation for Vietnamese football industry to stretch regionally and globally, according to Vu Xuan Hong, chairman of the VUFO.
In the recent past, coach Hong Son and the kid team got a chance to visit Manchester city in the United Kingdom. They called on Old Trafford, the football museum, UK’s largest Chester Zoo, competed with the Curzon Ashton team, and raised fund for a programme dedicated to children with heart defects. This impressive one-week journey contributed to forging the will of the kid footballers as well as bringing their dreams further.
Fourteen years after dropping anchor in the Vietnamese market, Lotteria has made constant efforts to grow into a familiar and safe brand to Vietnamese consumers. Lotteria currently possesses a network of more than 140 Lotteria shops in Vietnam employing over 5,000 employees and envisages enlarging shop network in the coming period.
Apart from funding ‘Cau thu ti hon’ programme, during 2011-2012 Lotteria took part in diverse social and philanthropic activities such as donating to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; acting as volunteers and giving funds to gratitude houses in Ho Chi Minh City and giving aids to storm hit victims in central Danang city etc.