“Education is ‘Chedeokji’, not ‘Ji-deokchee’ (Ji-yuk-deok-yuk-physical education).”
That’s what Chung Mong-kyu, president of the Korea Football Association, said in November 2013, exactly 10 years ago, at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to create a sports-friendly school culture. “We will strive to contribute to the improvement of students’ physical fitness,” he said, noting that the emphasis on intellect left many students with weak physical strength.
Since then, Chung has continued to show interest in school sports and women’s soccer. On February 2, ahead of the ‘2023 School Physical Education Competition Award Ceremony’ held at The K Hotel Seoul in Yangjae, Seoul, Chung told Kang Eun-hee, chairwoman of the Korea School Sports Promotion Association and superintendent of Daegu Metropolitan City, that school physical education is very important. In his congratulatory remarks at the event, he emphasized that “it is important to be exposed to sports at a young age.”
Since 2017, the association has joined hands with the Korea Sports Federation to introduce an integrated soccer club league division system that encompasses professional, amateur, and daily sports to strengthen Korean soccer competitiveness and build an advanced soccer system. As part of this, an integrated youth soccer club league was implemented in conjunction with schools and local sports clubs to revitalize youth soccer leagues.
The association also launched the Let’s Play Soccer Class in 2021, a program to promote youth soccer. The program was created to promote physical activity and recognize soccer as a game from the early elementary grades, regardless of gender. It’s not an after-school program, and most of the lessons take place during the school day, so it’s aimed at giving children who might not otherwise be interested in the sport a chance to try it out.
At an MOU signing ceremony in April with 30 sports organizations under the Korea Sports Federation to support the sports program, Chung said, “Children who were introduced to football 20 years ago by watching the myth of the Korea-Japan World Cup quarterfinals grew up to lead Korea to the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup. If more children enjoy football through school sports club activities and the sports program at Nilbom School, our football will have a brighter future in 20 years,” he said.
The ‘Let’s Play Soccer Classes’ also aim to give girls at a younger age a chance to play soccer, even if it’s involuntarily, to increase their interest in the sport in the future. The response has been enthusiastic. The Let’s Play Soccer Festival, held at Yongsan Children’s Garden on October 14, attracted more than 50 elementary school girls from grades 3 to 6 who do not have many opportunities to play soccer. The event was part of the FIFA Women’s Football Campaign, which was organized by the Korea Football Association with the support of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to promote women’s football and revitalize amateur football for young girls. The FIFA Women’s Football Campaign is one of the eight components of the FIFA Women’s Football Development Program, which is designed by FIFA to ensure the even development and expansion of women’s football around the world. In line with this, the associations are also committed to the development of women’s football by organizing girls’ soccer classes, the Women’s University Football Club League and the AFC Women’s Football Day. 무지개토토 주소
At the awards ceremony for the school sports competition, Chung stood in front of teachers and students from Incheon Yangjicho, Kwang Young-jung, In Heon-go, who won the grand prize for promoting girls’ football, and said, “Ji So-yeon is a woman.