Vietnam may lose swimming prodigy to the US

Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Diep Phuong Tram, 14, has decided to move to the US for continuous studying. Photo: Kha Hoa Nguyen Diep Phuong Tram, 14, has decided to move to the US for continuous studying. Photo: Kha Hoa

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The family of 14-year-old swimmer Nguyen Diep Phuong Tram has insisted on moving to the United States for her continuous studying despite local authorities’ demand for compensation to her training costs.
The family is willing to pay suitable compensation for the termination of her contract with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports, said Tram’s father Nguyen Minh Tri.
Holding two Southeast Asian records and three national records, Tram has been considered a shining star besides 19-year-old Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who claimed 8 gold medals and broke 8 records at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore last month.
Disputes broke out recently between HCMC sport authorities and Tram’s family, after the 8th grader planned to move to the US for continuous studying.
The city's sports department proposed two options for the termination of her contract.
The first plan requires Tram no compensation but she will have to commit to not playing for any other team until June 2019 – the current contract’s validity.
In the second option, Tram is free for playing for any team but she will have to pay for training costs of VND961 million (US$44,060) since 2010.
Tram’s parents agreed to compensate, however, only for relevant costs under a contract signed on July 1, 2014.
Tram’s mother, Diep Thi Vien Phuong, said that she and her husband – also Tram’s legal guardians – did neither sign the contract in 2010 nor witnessing her daughter doing so.
“The HCMC Department of Culture and Sports did not provide legal documents for the compensation of VND961 million.”
“We have authorized our lawyer to work with the Department for calculating a reasonable compensation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Department’s deputy director Mai Ba Hung said that Tram’s family would have to pay the compensation amount.
“The case will be solved by the court if Tram’s family pursues their complaint,” he said.
Meanwhile, the General Sports Department said Tram will continue her swimming training at the National Sports Training Center in HCMC while waiting for the conflicts to be solved.

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