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Dongguk 108 Leaders Cheering for the National Team

 

   
 
   
 

  Dongguk 108 Leaders, a student organization that is made to foster six synthetic capabilities by Office of Career Development, started its public relations from the summer vacation for the upcoming 17th Incheon Asian Games. They cheer for the national sepaktakraw team. Han Seung-hwan, who is majoring in Food Science and Biotechnology, and Lee Kyung-taek, majoring in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, said, “As the Asian Games will be held in Incheon, Korea, we are planning to cheer for national team members.”

  Among many sports events that will be held in the Asian Games, they decided to cheer for the unpopular sports. At first, four sports events, kabaddi, cricket, rugby, and sepaktakraw, were nominated. They contacted each sport federation and requested their help. Among those, Korea Sepaktakraw Association and Korea Cricket Association expressed a big welcome to Dongguk 108 Leaders. Considering the suitability and the place where the atheletes train, Dongguk 108 Leaders chose sepaktakraw as a cheering team.

  After the end of the first semester, Dongguk 108 Leaders drew up plans to cheer for the national team and to publicize what sepaktakraw is. To get to know sepaktakraw, they met many athletes. They went to Sungsu High School to learn its rules and experience it. On July 13th, they visited Boeun, Chungcheong Province, where the national team trains. Han also said, “It was really a good chance to get to know about sepaktakraw directly from the national team. They gave us their phone numbers and advised us with the ways of cheering and publicizing.” On August 2nd, they went to Incheon International Airport to see off the national team athletes who were going to Thailand for off-season training.

  Han, the head of Dongguk 108 Leaders public relations team, said that this project really means a lot to him and Dongguk 108 Leaders students. He said, “As university students, we have to prepare a lot of things during the vacation time to get a better job in the future. Actually, this project has no practical benefit to us. Our ultimate purpose of doing this is to give our energy to society. We really felt that the athletes were actually encouraged. The power of cheering is really big, especially for the atheletes of unpopular sports.”

  Dongguk 108 Leaders have more blueprints regarding on this project. On September, they will do real cheering activities while watching sepaktakraw games in Incheon. Also, for school festival, they are planning to introduce sepaktarkaw to Donggukians.

  As this project is at the starting point, there are some things that cause difficulties. Lee Kyung-taek said, “Sepaktakraw is still a minor sport in Korea. Sometimes we go through a hard time promoting it. I hope many people would become more familiar with sepaktakraw. In addition, the Korean sepaktakraw national team has a high possibility to win a gold medal in the Asian Games. Our sincere encouragement toward them is needed.”

 

What is Sepaktakraw?

Sepaktakraw is a ball game that originated in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand from the ninth centry. It is similar to volleyball combinated with soccer. Its name is rooted from two different languages. “Sepak” means “kick” in Malaysian, and “takraw” represents “ball” in Thai. Placing a five-foot net in the middle, three players in each team toss the ball using their body except for their hands and forearm. It differs from the similar sport of volleyball in using a rattan ball and only allowing players to use their feet, knee, chests and head to touch the ball. The game consists of three sets and a team needs at least 15 points to win for one set.

Kim You-jeong  youjeong719@dongguk.edu

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