Written by HyunCheon Kim / Translated by JaeMin Woo
Boston Korean Athletic Association (President: Hyung-Gu Cho) is struggling to recruit players for the 17th Korean American National Sports Festivaltaking place from 21st through 23rd at Overland Park in Kensas. Although President Cho’s initial plan from the beginning of April was to recruit 50 players by May 20th, the team roster is still not complete as of the 21st.
There are currently 4 and 3 participants confirmed for Tae Kwon Do and Golf respectively, and other sports like soccer and baseball team are not yet filled up.
President Cho said, “the lack of finantial support is the biggest problem”. Boston Korean Athletes Association cannot cover the expenses for every player because of its financial strains. Moreover, the athletes for the sports that are still recruiting like soccer and baseball are mostly students from Korea who usually do not stay in Boston during vacation. Even if they had the time, it is hard to expect these students to participate in the festival paying their own expenses.
Athletes who are participating in the festival are expected to pay $500, which covers the flights,room and board. Due to the economic recession, it is hard to find athletes who are willing to pay their own expense. Supports and interests from the Korean community are urgently needed. The association is obligated to submit its roster to the Korean American National Athletes Association by the 25th. If it fails to recruit enough players for soccer and baseball, less than 10 athletes are expected to participate representing Boston. However, president Cho added that the association simply did not have enough time to consider and plan the recruitment thoughtfully because it was informed about the festival by the Korean American National Athletes Association less than 2 months ago.
Jung-Il Lee, the president of New England Korean American Golf Association who also struggled to recruit athletes for this event said, “the expense seems to be burdensome for everyone”. Looking back to his participation in the festival 4 years ago in Chicago and the Korean National Sports Festival in Korea, Lee described it as “a chance to feel united as Koreans”. Also, he added, “the Korean National Sports Festival was fantastic. I felt a sense of pride as the event invited Koreans from various countries participated and was broadcasted through TV”. This year’s Korean American National Sports Festival’s events are Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Ssireum, wrestling, Kendo, squash, archery, foot volleyball, baseball, bascketball, soft ball, volleyball, soccer, bowling, shooting, golf, ping ponb, tennis, swimming, track, badminton and ice hockey. The event allows all genders and variety of age groups to participate including teenagers in middle schools and middle-aged athletes in their 50’s.
The festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, Kansas Korean American Association, and Kansas state government. For more information, call Hyung-Gu Cho (781-326-9009),the president of Boston Korean American Sports Association, or Min-Sung Yang (508-330-3853), the manager.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지