|▲ The Kyungnam University’s pitcher throws a ball to the Dongguk University’s batter (left). No matter how exciting the game is, the spectator's seats are empty (right). / photograph by Kim Jang-won|
On October 19th, “The 94th National Sports Festival” was held in the Incheon Munhak Baseball Stadium. On that day, Dongguk University’s Baseball team had a game with Kyungnam University. Despite the fact that Dogguk is close to game stadium, the game spectators of Dongguk were only 30.
The problem is that having small numbers of spectators is not just the first time. Almost every Dongguk Sports Team’s game has this problem. Nonetheless, Dongguk’s Sports Teams have been performing well. In some ways, it is a miracle that their levels are getting higher. For example, the baseball team won the championship for three years in a row from 2010 to 2012.
About ten years ago, Dongguk’s cheering squad situation was not like today. When the day of National Sports Festival’s semi-final or the final approached, the students only talked about the games. Furthermore, professors canceled classes for students’ convenience of game viewing. However, this fever had been withered away. Along with lack of advertisement, most students began concentrating on an employment after graduation, which forced them to focus on their grades more. A student from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Hong Ji-hyun said, “I have no idea about game schedules. I believe there are many exciting sports games, but I am too busy completing assignments and studying for exams.” The indifferences from students led to the fall of university sports.
The facilities are also a big problem. Dongguk’s Sports Teams are under a poor situation. The soccer team gets trained in the Hyo-chang main stadium, located in Yongsan because Dongguk does not have a private soccer ground. In addition, the baseball team is training in the Ilsan campus. What is even worse is that the staudium in Ilsan Campus is not in a good condition. Some of meshes are old and broken. It is natural that the team cannot be trained properly. The Basketball team is of no exception. Dongguk has just one gym. Therefore, the basketball team has to practice when there are no classes going on, meaning they exercise at dawn or after 8 p.m. when all the P.E. classes are over.
The Baseball team’s coach Choi Jin-yong mentioned, “The lack of interest from students and poor sports facilities make us tired. The Baseball team won the championship cup from 2010 to 2012. But our students are unconcerned with sport games.” The other day, the baseball team played a game against Dong-A University which is located in Busan. The players were demoralized because almost no cheering squad came to cheer them. “Even if anyone comes, the number is always less than 100.” He added that the support from the school is insufficient. “We must always go to the Ilsan Campus for training.” The players also complained that some professors do not excuse them from classes when there is an important game. The sports team needs the school’s support as soon as possible. However, according to an anonymous member of Strategy Planning and Budget Team, they are doing everything that they can with what they have in their hands.
In this unfortunately poor situation, the Sports Administration Office’s efforts of drawing student’s attention are continuing. This time, they have a plan of creating a soccer club for invigoration of “one man - one sport” where they teach that one man should learn one sport and growth of students’ attention. This club will recruit from November and their activities start next March. Regardless of their majors, 90 students can apply to this club by the order of arrival. Every 15 students will compose of one group, so a total of six groups will be under the teaching of Kim Jong-pil, the coach. This club will be extended to basketball and baseball teams. And arise from this, Sports Administration Office will put more effort in reference to Dongguk’s students’ “one man - one sport” settlement and improve of interest in school amateur teams. Lastly, Sports Administration Office added, “We desperately need the attention from the students and school alike. Please come and support the school teams’ games.”
Kim Jang-won firstname.lastname@example.org
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