Cup no Saigon thriller
had his name up in lights as a professional runner and running coach.
Chia said that had the AFLW existed in her day, she would have fancied herself at centre half-forward.
“All we had in NSW was the junior grades,” she said.
“So once I had turned 14, there was nowhere to go.”
Having moved to Indonesia, Chia became a member of the Jakarta Bintangs and reinvigorated her thirst for the game.
She was the driving force behind the development of women’s football in Indonesia, before moving to Saigon and doing the same thing all over again.
Like me, Chia sees a great future for women’s football.
“I can see the day when there will be Asian girls playing in the AFLW in Australia,” she said. “It’s only a matter of time. “Australian rules football is in its infancy in Asia, but it will grow and Asian men and women will develop into quality players.”
“I just love the game,” she said.
“It’s in my blood.”
The Melbourne Cup gives. And the Melbourne Cup takes.
That is the soul of Australia’s greatest horse race.
One trainer praises the resilient thoroughbred first past the post, others mourn their fragile horses who did not.
One jockey stands tall, the rest curse defeat.
Unadulterated joy for the connections of the winner, but the exact opposite for all the others – and utter despair for anybody who had anything to do with The Cliffsofmoher.
But while the Melbourne Cup brings most of Australia to a standstill with drama and fanfare, the rank-and-file Vietnamese couldn’t give a toss.
Having said that, it wasn’t hard to view the race in Saigon in glorious Technicolor.
Saigon is full of sports bars, and at one of the best, Phatty’s Sports Bar and Grill, in District One, it was standing room only.
There were precious few Vietnamese there to watch, but the Aussie ex-pats turned up en masse to make plenty of noise.
There is no gambling in Vietnam, no Bet 365.coms, no Sportsbets, or Ladbrokes here, but I sense that our ex-pats find a way.
As per every Cup day, Phatty’s publican, Steve, and “Bagman” Horse were going about making sure that huge hangovers were going to be the order of the following day.
The Cup was won by Cross Counter, with Marmelo second and Prince of Aaron third. As for me?
Well, I might as well have tacked a racing guide to Phatty’s wall and thrown a dart!
The Vietnam Lady Swans celebrate their victory in the first women’s division of the Asian Championships lastmonth.