At the National Championship for Stick Pushing and Tug of War in 2024 taking place in Dak Lak recently, a delegation of athletes from Hoa Binh province participated in both events. For stick pushing, they participated in 9 weight categories and won 1 gold medal, 3 silver medals and 2 bronze medals. Notably, the two young athletes who were both born in 2006 are the children of Van Son commune (Lac Son) and have contributed a lot to the province's competition achievements.

The athlete Quach Viet Hoang from Loi Muong hamlet (right) won the silver medal in men's stick pushing in the 65-70kg weight category at the championship for crossbow shooting, stick pushing, and youth tug of war in Lac Son district’s championship in 2024.

Among them, the athlete Bui Van Nam from Man Bui village won the gold medal in men's stick pushing in the 48kg weight category; the athlete Bui Trung Kien from Rang Thien village, won the bronze medal in men's stick pushing in the 60kg weight category.

Stick pushing is not only a sport but it is also a traditional folk game loved by many generations of the people in Van Son commune. According to Mr. Bui Van Son in Man Bui hamlet, in free afternoons, the young children in the village who are teenagers and young adults practice and play together. The training ground is a field, a lawn, a dirt yard, the tools are simply a stick made of good, straight wood or an old piece of bamboo. The way of playing and the rules of the game do not place much emphasis on fierce competition, they are mainly for entertainment and community bonding. The winner of the game is not only by having good health but also by having tactics, ingenuity, and knowing how to take advantage of the opportunities to "strike” decisively and accurately.

In recent years, the national sport has also been included in school physical education and sports activities, attracting a large number of students to respond and practice, thereby it has been contributing to educating the awareness of conserving and preserving the beauty of the folk games and traditional sports. Mr. Hoang Hai Long, the physical education teacher at Van Son Primary and Secondary School, says: Regularly guiding and training the children is, first of all, to improve their physical strength and create a useful playground to help them comprehensively develop virtue-mind-body-beauty. Being happy that from the "cradle”, the school has discovered and nurtured many talented people to participate in Phu Dong Health Festival and competitions organized by the sector. At the 9th Provincial Phu Dong Health Festival in 2023, the school chose 9 students to be the core of the district's team to compete in stick pushing, bringing the achievements of 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 1 bronze medal.

At the tournament for crossbow shooting, stick pushing, and youth tug of war in Lac Son district in 2024 taking place at the end of March, the commune sent 1 stick pushing athlete and 3 crossbow shooting athletes to participate. The athlete Quach Viet Hoang from Loi Muong Hamlet won the silver medal in men's stick pushing in the 65-70kg weight category. Ms. Bui Thi Hien, the cultural and social civil officer of the commune, says: The ethnic sports have strong vitality in the spiritual life of the local people. Besides the strength of stick pushing, the people in the hamlets and residential areas also regularly practice the traditional sports such as tug of war, crossbow shooting, and array fighting... 

Along with the cultural and artistic activities, the local party committee and authorities have always paid attention to and encouraged the physical training and sports movements, associated with preserving Muong ethnic identity. During the early Spring festivals, the ceremony is focused on being fully restored, according to the process and rituals. On the other hand, the commune directs to include folk games and ethnic sports in the festival. The festival's organizing committee also invites the athletes from other communes to participate in the competition, contributing to creating a joyful and exciting atmosphere, enhancing exchanges and tightening solidarity.

The development of the ethnic sports also contributes to improving the quality of mass physical training and sports movements, promoting the campaign of all people uniting to build the cultural life in residential areas. Thereby, many talents have been discovered, matured and created a source of the athletes for the gifted teams at the district’s and province’s levels. At this year's national tournament, the achievements of the athlete Bui Van Nam from Man Bui Hamlet and the athlete Bui Trung Kien from Rang Thien village, have aroused the pride and encouraged the people to actively preserve and promote the national sports. It is known that the athlete Bui Van Nam's gold medal in stick pushing has been awaited since the National Stick Pushing and Tug of War Championship in 2018. At the 9th National Sports Congress in 2022, the athlete delegation of Hoa Binh only won 2 bronze medals in stick pushing.

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