The 7th National Games was officially kicked off in Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh city, northern Nam Dinh province on December 6.

The opening ceremony was attended by around 2,000 athletes and coaches of 65 sports delegations across the country as well as 1,600 local performers and students.

It also saw the presence of former National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Van An, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh described the Games as a gathering of outstanding athletes and coaches nationwide.

He said results of the Games will reflect the sport development at both local and national levels between 2010 – 2014 as well as giving relevant bodies ideas to develop plans for the 2014 - 2018 period.

The ceremony started with a grand welcoming art performance featuring Nam Dinh’s culture and was then followed by a parade of sport delegations, a torch relay and a dazzling fireworks display.

During the Games held until December 16, nearly 7,500 athletes from cities, provinces and public security and military teams will compete in 36 sports.

The Games are already underway in other destinations, including Hanoi, Ha Nam, Thai Binh, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Hoa Binh, and Ninh Binh.

Playing as the major host, Nam Dinh provides venues for 13 sports including men’s football, athletics, swimming, volleyball, Vovinam, traditional martial arts, pencak silat, wushu, bodybuilding, weightlifting and boxing.

Launched in 1990, Vietnam National Games is organised every four years.-VNA