On June 17, 2019, CJ Group held a media day at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam and officially announced the launch of the CJ National Youth Taekwondo Championship in Vietnam.
The CJ National Youth Taekwondo Championship to take place on July 7
▲ Joong-hyeon Kim, manager at CJ Vietnam, is speaking at a press conference held in advance of the CJ National Youth Taekwondo Championship
At the event, which was attended by high-ranking officials including the director of international cooperation at the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Vietnam and VP of the Vietnam Taekwondo Federation as well as by 33 local Vietnamese media outlets, CJ Group and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Vietnam signed an MOU, reviewed CJ Group's activities and its support for sports in Vietnam, and discussed plans for the future.
▲ Vu Xuan Thanh, VP of the Vietnam Taekwondo Federation, is speaking at a press conference held in advance of the CJ National Youth Taekwondo Championship
Scheduled to take place in Lao Cai for a week from July 7 to 13, the CJ National Youth Taekwondo Championship is Vietnam's first-ever Taekwondo competition in which national titles are awarded by a foreign company.
"Currently, there are several national Taekwondo competitions taking place in Vietnam, including the National Sports Festival, the Taekwondo Championship hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Vietnam, and the Taekwondo Championship hosted by the Vietnam Taekwondo Federation. However, we have so far been refraining from allowing foreign companies access to national titles," said an official from the Vietnam Taekwondo Federation. "However, taking into consideration CJ's consistent support for Taekwondo in Vietnam since 2012, we have eventually made an unprecedented decision to allow a foreign company to use national titles, and we believe that this competition will serve as a cornerstone for the development of Taekwondo in Vietnam, a country emerging as a Taekwondo powerhouse."
CJ Group plans to hold Taekwondo competitions in Vietnam's other major cities including Hanoi and Da Nang and aims to hold the first international Taekwondo competition in Southeast Asia.
The popularity of Taekwondo in Vietnam is notable. As of 2019, the number of people practicing Taekwondo in Vietnam is about 342,000, which makes Taekwondo the most popular combat sport in the individual category in Vietnam, outstripping judo and karate as well as Vietnam's national combat sport Vovinam (Viet Vo Dao) and traditional martial art Vo Co Truyen.
Truong Thi Kim Tuyen, a member of the Vietnam women's national Taekwondo team who is currently ranked 13th in the world, is working very hard to achieve the goal of winning Vietnam's first-ever gold medal in Olympic Taekwondo at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and another national team member, Ho Thi Kim Ngan, has recently received the Victory Cup’s Rookie of the Year Award, which is given to Vietnam's best athlete, and in turn is gaining national attention.
A CJ Group official said, "Starting with the competition in Lao Cai this year, the CJ National Youth Taekwondo Championship plans to hold Taekwondo competitions in Vietnam's other major cities including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang to invigorate interest in Taekwondo in Vietnam. In addition, we also plan to continuously conduct support activities for Taekwondo in Vietnam with the aim of holding Southeast Asia's first-ever international Taekwondo competition in the future."
CJ Group, which has been supporting Taekwondo in Vietnam, aims to create a Taekwondo craze in Vietnam and thereby spread K-Culture
CJ Group started sponsoring the Vietnam women's national Taekwondo team in 2012 with a view to promoting new lifestyles in Vietnam and to helping carry out CSV activities in the country in a long-term, continuous manner. CJ Group has been committed to supporting the Vietnam women's national Taekwondo team in their off-season training sessions both domestic and abroad as well as their participation in international championships in order to improve their performance and competitiveness against world-class Taekwondo athletes, recruiting South Korea's renowned coaches and trainers for the team and having them direct and manage the team. In particular, in 2017, CJ Group expanded its support for Taekwondo in Vietnam to include the Vietnam men's national Taekwondo team as well, and as such, CJ Group is taking the lead in developing Vietnam into an emerging Taekwondo powerhouse.
A CJ Group official said, "CJ Group will continue to make efforts to nurture Vietnam's Taekwondo scene and keep the Korean wave craze in Vietnam going by promoting the excellence and spirit of South Korean national sport Taekwondo and, in turn, spreading K-culture far and wide."
CJ Group entered the Vietnamese market in 1998 and has since established four business divisions – food, biotechnology, new distribution, entertainment & media. The company considers Vietnam as a critical country for its overseas business operations along with the U.S. and China. In Vietnam, CJ Group has been conducting a variety of social contribution activities tailored to local circumstances, including the Saemaul Project for strengthening the rural value chain (2014-), the Scholarship Project for Youth in Low-Income Families in Lam Dong Province (2013-), and the CJ-UNESCO Training Project for Vietnamese Girls (2019-).