Together with his friend and colleague Nguyen Ngoc Phat, in 2007 they co-founded ATW (Around The World) and have since brought the sport in Vietnam to a whole new level.
If you don’t live near Lenin Park in Hanoi, there’s a chance you haven’t seen a crew of young men and women who gather there to practice the sport of freestyle football; juggling, trapping and balancing footballs with all parts of their bodies. If you have, you no doubt took a few pictures, because their skills are easy on the eye.
“Everyone is attracted to this sport,” says Anh Tuan. “It’s a skillful type of football requiring time, patience and willpower. It’s also hard, but for some it’s not a hard choice to begin playing; they see it and they love it.”
All You Need is a Ball
Having been obsessed with regular football as a child, Anh Tuan quietly began practising this more urban version of the game - where ‘all you need is a ball’ - after seeing the tricks performed online in the mid 2000s.
Immediately driven to spend countless hours copying what he’d seen, Anh Tuan later watched YouTube videos to refine his routine and add more tricks. Dedicated, he soon became an expert, attracting the attention of TV cameras with his form of ‘street ballet’ and winning competitions like Vietnam’s first Freestyle Football Competition in 2009.
Seeing a future in the sport, and the healthy lifestyle it promoted, in 2007 he founded ATW with Phat, creating an entertainment brand with the aim of bringing the sport, and a positive outlook on life, to as many young people as possible.
Throughout the year you can see the ATW team, now comprised of six members, doing demonstrations and exhibitions in schools, universities and at sponsored events. They’ve also had their fair share of media coverage, featuring on reality television shows, lifestyle segments and in commercials.