Sports in Vietnam

Sports in Vietnam play a crucial role in fostering community spirit and promoting a healthy lifestyle. They provide a platform for people to connect, compete, and celebrate their shared passion. Sports activities are a common sight from the streets of Hanoi to the villages of the Mekong Delta, reflecting the nation’s passion and dedication to physical fitness and competition.

From local tournaments to national competitions, sports events are occasions for communities to come together, showcasing their skills and sportsmanship. Let’s explore the various popular sports in Vietnam, which unites the entire country in enthusiasm and excitement.

Vietnam in SEA Games

The Nation’s Love for Football

Football (Soccer) holds a special place in the hearts of the Vietnamese people and Football is the most beloved sport in Vietnam. The sport’s popularity transcends social and geographical boundaries, uniting people from all walks of life. Currently, the excitement is palpable as Euro 2024 matches are broadcasting on televisions across the nation, from urban centers to rural villages.

The infrastructure for football in Vietnam is well-developed, with numerous football fields and facilities available in almost every town. Schools and community centers often feature well-maintained pitches, ensuring that the sport is accessible to everyone. Parents are also supportive of their children’s interest in football, often encouraging them to join local clubs and participate in training sessions.

The country has a strong football tradition, with both the men’s and women’s national teams gaining recognition in regional competitions.

Football fields in Hoi An, Vietnam

Badminton in Vietnam

Badminton is immensely popular in Vietnam, both as a recreational activity and a competitive sport. Vietnam produced several notable players who have competed at international levels. The country has a robust system for nurturing talent, with numerous local clubs and national tournaments held annually. The sport’s popularity is evident in the numerous badminton courts across urban and rural areas.

The Vietnamese Badminton Federation oversees the sport’s development and has been successful in producing internationally recognized players such as Nguyen Tien Minh, who has consistently ranked among the top badminton players globally. The strong emphasis on badminton is part of a broader national strategy to promote physical fitness and sportsmanship among the youth.

Nguyen Thuy Linh, Vietnam’s leading badminton player

Volleyball in Vietnam

Volleyball enjoys widespread popularity at both amateur and professional levels in Vietnam. The sport is particularly popular in schools and universities, where it is part of the physical education curriculum. The Vietnam Volleyball Federation organizes national leagues and tournaments, fostering talent and providing a platform for players to compete at higher levels.

Beach volleyball is also a favorite pastime, especially in coastal areas. Vietnam has hosted and participated in various international volleyball competitions, showcasing the skill and dedication of its players. The sport’s inclusivity and team-oriented nature make it a beloved activity among both men and women.

Vietnam Volleyball Team in Action

Basketball in Vietnam

Basketball is a rapidly growing sport in Vietnam, particularly among the younger generation. The establishment of the Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) in 2016 has significantly boosted the sport’s popularity. The VBA has brought professional basketball to the forefront, with an increasing number of Vietnamese youth taking up the sport.

Schools and universities have well-equipped basketball courts, and local leagues are thriving. The sport’s growth is also supported by international collaborations and training programs that aim to enhance the skills of Vietnamese players. Basketball is now a major part of Vietnam’s sports culture, with a bright future.

Vietnam’s professional basketball league by VBA

Swimming in Vietnam

Swimming is a favored sport, particularly in coastal areas and cities with access to swimming facilities. The Vietnamese government and various organizations have implemented extensive swimming programs to ensure safety and develop competitive swimmers.

Swimming facilities are abundant in urban areas, and public swimming pools are frequently used by both recreational swimmers and those training for competitions. Vietnam has made significant strides in competitive swimming, with athletes participating in regional and international competitions. The sport is encouraged from a young age, with many children learning to swim as part of school programs and community initiatives.

A swimming class in Vietnam

Martial Arts in Vietnam

Martial arts, particularly Karate and traditional Vietnamese form such as Vovinam deeply ingrained in Vietnamese culture. Karate classes are popular across the country and Vovinam is a homegrown martial art. People practice them widely and they recognized them for its unique techniques that combine self-defense and combat skills.

Martial arts are not only a sport but also a means of preserving cultural heritage and promoting mental strength. Many schools include martial arts training in their curriculum, and there are numerous martial arts clubs and associations dedicated to fostering talent and hosting competitions. Many children are encouraged by their parents to take up martial arts from a young age, helping them to develop discipline and physical fitness.

Vovinam class for kids

Other Sports and Athletic Events in Vietnam

While the sports mentioned above are dominating the Vietnamese sports scene, other several sports are gaining traction and contributing to the country’s diverse athletic culture.

Rugby, for instance, is gradually becoming more popular, especially in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where clubs organize local leagues and friendly matches. Vietnam Rugby actively promotes the sport through events and grassroots programs.

Cricket, though primarily played by expatriates, is seeing increased interest, with the Vietnam Cricket Association (VCA) organizing domestic tournaments and working to introduce the sport to local communities.

Tennis, though not as prevalent as badminton, enjoys a dedicated following, with numerous courts available in urban areas and competitions hosted by the Vietnam Tennis Federation (VTF).

Endurance sports such as Marathons and Triathlons are also on the rise, with notable events like the Ho Chi Minh City Marathon and the Da Nang International Marathon attracting participants from around the world. These events highlight Vietnam’s emerging interest in a broader range of sports and promote a healthy, active lifestyle among its citizens.

Cycling is a versatile activity in Vietnam, enjoyed for both recreation and sport. The country’s diverse landscapes offer a range of cycling experiences, from city tours to countryside adventures and coastal rides. Vietnam offers numerous scenic routes, making it an ideal activity for both locals and tourists who wish to explore the country’s beauty on two wheels.

Da Nang International Marathon 2024


Sports play an essential role in Vietnamese society, fostering community spirit, promoting physical health, and offering opportunities for personal and national pride. Popular sports like football, badminton, and martial arts are complemented by a growing interest in less mainstream activities such as rugby, cricket, and endurance events.

Both the community and the government support the country’s rich sports culture with extensive infrastructure and programs to nurture talent and encourage participation. The Vietnamese government, through various sports federations and associations, provides substantial support to these initiatives, ensuring that sports remain an integral part of daily life. This collective effort underscores the importance of sports in uniting people, enhancing physical fitness, and contributing to the overall well-being of the nation.

For those looking to explore Vietnam’s vibrant sports scene or participate in athletic events, visit Hoi An Cycling Tour to learn more about the exciting opportunities available.

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