Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) will give a digital satellite receiver to athletes who win a gold medal at the Southeast Asia Games in Myanmar next month. The winners will also receive 12 months free access to the network.

At a press conference in Hanoi on November 6, deputy chairman of the company Vu Quang Huy said the 3,390,000 VND (160 USD) gift was not big, but hopefully would encourage athletes.

Lam Quang Thanh, deputy head of the National Sports Administration and head of the Vietnam delegation, said at least eight other enterprises and companies had promised support for the team. He said sponsors were also offering "hot, on-the-spot bonuses" to those who achieved great success.

Meanwhile, the national women's football team has been granted support worth 6 billion VND (286,000 USD) from Nutifood in preparation for the 2015 World Cup. This will allow the team to train in Japan, one of the world's leading female football nations. The company has also promised jobs to footballers when they finish playing.

Vietnam will have 591 athletes in 29 events at the Games, aiming to be one of the top three at the biennial event. A send-off ceremony for the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar will be organised on November 20 at the National Sports Training Centre in Hanoi.

Hundreds of athletes, coaches and officials who represent Vietnam at the biennial Games will take part in the event which is traditionally held to boost athlete morale and confidence before the competition begins.

"Usually, the Hanoi centre provides core athletes for the national team (there are four centres nation-wide). This year we have fewer athletes than in previous Games, but we still set a target of Viet Nam's winning up to 70 gold medals in Myanmar," said Nguyen Manh Hung, director of the centre.

"All of our athletes have been in intensive training for months. We believe that they will be ensured about physical strength and sound techniques to compete at the Games," he added.

The ceremony will feature Vietnam's team members, cheerleaders, supporters and well-wishers, as well as the participation of nationally famous singers and bands. The football team will be the first to arrive in Nay Pyi Taw on November 26 while the biggest group of the delegation will leave for the competition on December 4.

The Games will officially open on December 11 and close 11 days later.-VNA