On Thursday last week, 18-year-old Takasago Nobuaki from Japan gave 108 pairs of pre-owned football shoes to underprivileged children in Ho Chi Minh City. His generous act of kindness provided a much-needed boost to the lives of those less fortunate.
The Quoc Hung Football Ground in District 8 was the location for the unveiling of the shoes. Attendees were given a glimpse of the stylish and comfortable design of the new footwear. All eyes were on the shoes as they made their grand appearance at the event.
Nobuaki lived in Vietnam with his father from the time he was six to eleven years old. It was a time of tremendous growth and development for him. During those years, he experienced a new culture, learned the language, and made lifelong friends. His father taught him the importance of hard work and resilience. These lessons have stayed with him ever since and continue to shape him today.
While most other Japanese people living abroad often reside in Japanese-centric towns, Nobuaki’s father, an international journalist, wanted his son to gain practical experiences and immerse himself in the local lifestyle. Thus, he sent him to a public football team in District 8 called Thanh Khiet FC.
Nobuaki realized that many members in the club did not possess specialized football shoes, instead wearing a variety of other types of shoes.
Nobuaki realized that many members in the club did not have specialized football shoes. They wore various types of shoes.
During his visits to other provinces in Vietnam, Nobuaki was taken aback when he saw many boys in rural areas playing football with no shoes on. It was too challenging for their families to be able to purchase football shoes for them.
Returning to Japan, Nobuaki observed his friends discarding shoes that had only been worn a few times. Inspired by their actions, he decided to gather these pairs of shoes and donate them to children in Vietnam.
He collected 108 pairs of shoes in good condition and sent them to Vietnam at the end of last month.
Tran Thanh Mai, 15, the only female trainee of Thanh Khiet FC, was among those fortunate enough to receive a pair of shoes from Japanese football enthusiast Nobuaki.
She no longer has to don a dilapidated pair of shoes, repaired with glue and staples.
She exclaimed, “I am moved and incredibly happy. [I’m] so delighted that I cannot even cry. I had a huge smile on my face throughout the presentation.”
N.M.H., a 13-year-old footballer, tragically lost his father due to COVID-19 in August 2021, in the midst of the pandemic. His mother also suffers from depression. Despite all this, Nobuaki surprised him with a pair of shoes.
Huynh Thi Thanh Khiet, the coach of the Thanh Khiet club, has patiently convinced and supported H. to return to the club, as she believes that football is a team sport. Thus, teamwork and happiness during practice will help H. reach success.
Takasago Nobuaki, coach Thanh Khiet, and a group of children in Ho Chi Minh City proudly posed for a photo after they received brand new shoes. The shoes were donated to the children in order to help them lead healthier and more active lifestyles. The children were thrilled to have new shoes and they expressed their gratitude to the donors for their generous gift. The photo provides a powerful reminder of the importance of charitable giving and how it can make a real difference in the lives of those in need.
|Takasago Nobuaki, coach Thanh Khiet, and children in Ho Chi Minh City receive shoes and pose for a photo.
H. was delighted to receive the shoes from Nobuaki, exclaiming that his father would be thrilled to know he had such a great pair.
Nguyen Chi Tai, 13, resides in a humble rented house in a deprived area of District 8. Previously, he had to rely on other members of the club to borrow shoes, regardless of their sizes.
Having his own shoes in his size, Nobuaki felt like a Santa Claus, appearing in March.
Nobuaki wants to extend a helping hand to underprivileged children in Vietnam, especially those with a passion for football in rural and remote areas. He hopes to provide shoes to these children, giving them the opportunity to participate in the sport that they love.
He said he was inspired to live meaningfully and nurture the sporting spirit by coach Huynh Thi Thanh Khiet, who taught Nobuaki to play football during the four years he was at Thanh Khiet FC from 2012 to 2016.
Khiet, the current secretary to the head coach of the Vietnamese Women’s National Futsal Team and the head coach of the Ho Chi Minh City Women’s Futsal Team, puts her whole heart into training and always looks for ways to help underprivileged children fulfill their football dreams.