There is a sport that goes well with Chuseok. It’s jokgu. Hong Ki-yong, president of the Korea Foot and Football Association, said, “Competitions are held every week from March to November. There is no rest, but there is no foot volleyball competition during Chuseok. “I want to plan a foot volleyball event during the holidays like folk wrestling,” he said. Jokgu is a native sport that represents Korea along with wrestling and taekwondo.
Jokgu has been moving toward globalization starting this year based on its wide base as a recreational sport. The first world championship was successfully held in Yanggu, Gangwon-do last August, and Korea was crowned the first champion.
Building momentum, Korea Sports Council President Lee Ki-heung met with IOC Chairman Thomas Bach in Lausanne, Switzerland on the 2nd and submitted a certification application requesting that foot volleyball be recognized as an IOC-affiliated sport organization. Our country is preparing to host the 2036 Olympics. The host country has the opportunity to list foot volleyball as an Olympic sport through its designation authority.
Chairman Hong Ki-yong said about this, “I think it’s luck. If the 2036 Olympics are held, there will be room for foot volleyball. This first world competition received a good response not only from Asia but also from Europe and the Middle East. A friendly match and referee training will be held in Iraq in March next year. Nearby Lebanon and Qatar are also invited. In Asia, Thailand shows its intention to hold a foot volleyball tournament. We are also working hard to enter the Asian Games. “In particular, the 2036 Olympics are a golden opportunity.” This means that the history of Korea’s unique ball sport, jokgu, could be greatly divided depending on whether it is registered in the 2036 Olympics.
Hong Ki-yong, President of the Korea Foot and Volleyball Association메이저놀이터
The Korean Football Association is heading towards globalization, but is also trying to further strengthen its domestic base. To celebrate Family Month in May next year, a special outdoor stadium will be built at Gwanghwamun Square to showcase the players’ spectacular play. This is an effort to popularize it. The female footwear population is also increasing. 48 women’s teams have registered nationwide and the number is steadily increasing. The association is also active in revitalizing the women’s division. We are also attempting to establish school physical education, including after-school classes. Building a system that guarantees livelihood for foot volleyball players and coaches cannot be left out. It is an expansion into professional sports and medal events through advancement from elementary school to university and revitalization of business teams.
To achieve this, policy support is essential. In accordance with the Sports Promotion Act, wrestling and taekwondo are supported. Jokgu is not yet included. The Korea Football Association’s position is that the popularity and spread of the sport relative to investment is more certain than that of any other sport. Chairman Hong said, “We are a sports deficit country. There is a system that accepts and supports various sports from other countries. “While we support sports that have a narrow base and are at a club level, we do not support sports that started in our country, so we are a sports deficit country,” he said, indirectly expressing his request for support for foot volleyball.
The reality is that although foot volleyball is solid as a daily sport, it is not so in terms of professional sport. Only when it is recognized as professional sports does the scale of support change. So Jokgu launched a world federation this year and even completed its first international competition. If it maintains three or more international competitions, it will be recognized as a professional sport. In Korea, the plan is to divide the league into divisions 1 to 7 and introduce a promotion system. As foot volleyball grows from a recreational sport to a professional sport, there are additional effects. Business creation through exporting items and selling related products will naturally follow. A snowball effect can be expected.