Vietnam Time

9/6/2018 5:57:22 PM

Joseph Donnelly, an outstanding coach of Vietnamese rowing

The Gold Medal of Vietnamese rowing team at the 2018 Asian Games (ASIAD) should be attributed significantly to their Australian coach, Joseph Donnelly.

This success is unexpected to some but predictable to the insiders for the enormous contributions of Mr. Donnelly.

Actively collecting funds for Vietnamese rowing 

 Vietnamese rowing teams encountered numerous difficulties in training.

Eight years ago, Joseph Donnelly visited Hanoi as a tourist. Yet, watching the Hanoi Rowing Club and the National Rowing Team practice on the West Lake pulled him closer and tighter to Vietnamese Rowing.

With years of expertise, he found the potential and passion in Vietnamese Rowing. He sought in person for support of rowing athletes from leaders of the Rowing Federation and local sports authorities.

Two years later, he began assisting Rowing Coach Pham Thi Ngoc Lan. Vietnamese athletes, in the eyes of the Australian expert, were underperforming, despite having talents.

As training conditions at that time was modest, Joseph’s first move as a coach assistant was to propose buying initial equipment for training.

Support training at his expense

Coach Joseph Donnelly made significant mental and material contributions to Vietnamese Rowing

Joseph Donnelly willingly worked unpaid for the first four years of training Vietnamese athletes. He also sponsored training expenses and equipment for the athletes. One of his major donations was the 20.000- US dollar rowboat – the result of his fundraising and networking in Australian sports community.

In an interview, Nguyen Hai Duong – Secretary General of Vietnam Rowing Federation, Chief of Staff of the Foreign Affairs Office of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training – addressed the contributions of expert Joseph Donnelly to this poorly-invested sport of Vietnam as “a blessing”.

By 2010, the Vietnamese Rowing Team, though nameless, had achieved encouraging results. Two outstanding of those were the silver medals in ASIAD 2010 in Guangzhou, China. As time goes by, more medals are added to the record book as a fruit of Joseph’s contributions and Vietnamese athletes’ hard work.

Recognized efforts

The Vietnamese Rowing Team won the Gold Medal in ASIAD 2018.

“Expert Joseph Donnelly made major contributions to the development and success of Vietnamese Rowing for years”, said Duong Tri Thanh, President of Vietnam Rowing Federation in his press talk.

“I clearly sense the energy, the efforts and the great will they (the athletes) carry. Their passion motivates me to stand alongside with them through difficulties. I believe Vietnam will achieve greater success in the coming competitions such as ASIAD and the Olympic 2020 Knockout Stage”, said Joseph.

Joseph also receives love and respect from his athletes. Pham Thi Thao, one of the four gold champions of ASIAN Rowing 2018 once shared that she considered Joseph her father for not only his professional but also life support.

In response, Donnelly expressed his gratitude to the support from athletes and leaders in the sector of sports through ups and downs.

Thanks to Joseph Donnelly, Vietnam was the only Southeast Asian country with two representatives at Olympic Rio 2016. The country’s rowing team has dominated Asian and Southeast Asian rowing events in the recent years./.

  ( Translated by Hong Anh )
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