Korean volleyball faced the worst crisis ever. This year, both men and women showed unprecedented sluggish results in international competitions. The men’s national team lost 0-3 to Bahrain at the Asian Championships last July, and won only 3-1 by dropping a set to Vietnam. In the Asian tournament, where Japan (ranked 6th in the world), Iran (ranked 10th) and China (ranked 25th), who are active in the world Volleyball Nations League (VNL), did not participate, Korea was defeated or chased by weaker countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. . Women’s volleyball, which achieved the “miracle semifinal myth” at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, suffered repeated falls as “Volleyball Empress” Kim Yeon-kyung returned her Taegeuk mark. Following last year, this year also suffered the humiliation of 0 points from all 12 VNL matches. The Korean women’s national team ended up with the worst performance, but China achieved the best ever runner-up in the 2023 VNL. Korean women’s volleyball has fallen into a pitiful figure watching China’s emergency from afar as if envious.
The fall of Korean men’s and women’s volleyball was already predicted. Red flags went off a long time ago from college. College teams went down the path of leveling down as players were not properly supplied and it was difficult to find promising players. The structural problems of college volleyball had no choice but to lead to professional volleyball, and even Korean volleyball. It was because college volleyball, which serves as a bridge between middle school volleyball and adult volleyball, did not play its role. It seems that it will be difficult for Korean volleyball to secure competitiveness in international volleyball without raising the level of college volleyball.
On the 15th, ahead of the opening of the 2023 Korean Air Cup National University Volleyball Jecheon Tournament (16-24) in Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do, the new Korean University Volleyball Federation president Hong Ki-ho (67) and 19 university men’s and women’s university team coaches held their first meeting through the board of directors. He pledged to develop volleyball and Korean volleyball. The new chairman Hong was appointed as the new chairman through the presidential election on July 28th. After the resignation of the 8th president Oh Seung-jae in May, the federation operated as acting president Cho Kwang-bok. On this day, at the meeting, Chairman Hong shook hands with each university team coach and encouraged them, saying, “Let’s raise the level of Korean volleyball again.” He, who is 167 cm tall, patted the shoulders of directors, most of whom were taller than 180 cm, and expressed a sense of intimacy despite his first meeting. How will Chairman Hong change college volleyball, which is in crisis of stagnation? He met directly in Jecheon and heard about the development plan of college volleyball.
Chairman Hong has always walked the path of a businessman. He runs Myeongseong Environment Co., Ltd., a small and medium-sized business with annual sales of 30 billion in waste, eco-environmental projects, etc. in Gwangju. In the meantime, he likes sports, but he has no experience as the head of a sports organization. However, he shows confidence that he will lead the college volleyball federation well with the passion of a businessman.
Chairman Hong talked about his volleyball experience. He said that he still has a vivid memory of watching the match between ‘Computer Setter’ Kim Ho-cheol and Geopo Kang Man-soo on TV at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He said that the volleyball game itself was exciting and dynamic, so he liked it more than other sports. He said that he could not forget how Kim Yeon-kyung and her national team players made a miraculous come-from-behind victory in women’s volleyball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which moved them greatly.
“You can exert tremendous power in a crisis.”
Chairman Hong believes that a crisis can be turned into an opportunity at any time. After doing all one can do, the result depends on fate, ‘Jinsa Daecheonmyeong (盡人事待天命)’ is the philosophy of life. He personally was able to build his current business through a lot of hard work. I am confident that Korean volleyball, which is currently facing an unprecedented crisis, can use it as an opportunity for development if it does not lose its spirit of challenge to break through the crisis.
Chairman Hong vaguely remembers the skills of Korean volleyball in the 1980s. He thinks that it is necessary to regain the power of the past, when the Japanese men’s and women’s volleyball, which once dominated the world volleyball in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Chinese women’s volleyball, which reigned as the world’s top, performed equally well.
The fact that volleyball has lost national interest compared to the past is considered a reflection of the times. As professional sports such as professional baseball became active, professional volleyball was also launched, but people lost interest in volleyball as more sports were interested in. To make matters worse, as the international competitiveness of Korean volleyball has recently weakened, the popularity of volleyball has cooled.
“It is Korean volleyball that has had many experiences of success and failure. We must break through the current difficulties with the hope that things will get better in the future. If we join forces again, we can do it. College volleyball is also experiencing difficulties, but various coaches and players must come together to overcome it.” In particular, college coaches and players must have a sense of responsibility as owners of the federation, and he pledged to actively play the role of a guardian to help the federation. During his tenure, he said he would attend all college competitions and visit front-line university teams to solve field problems.
“I will raise the level of college volleyball”
Chairman Hong decided to provide an annual personal contribution of 50 million won to the financially difficult federation, and appointed Suh House (63), a business partner, as CEO of Kiwoom Urban Development, as vice chairman of finance. He also decided to hire his federation employees as full-time employees for his company. This is to put the federation system on the right track based on financial stability.안전놀이터
University volleyball presidents have often been held by university presidents or professors. Lee Kang-pyeong, former president of Seoul Christian University, Son Jong-guk, former president of Kyonggi University, Cho Young-ho, former professor at Hanyang University, and Lee Doo-shik, former professor at Hongik University, led the federation. In addition, along with former Gyeonggi people such as Oh Han-nam, the current head of the Korea Volleyball Association, former chairman Oh Seung-jae, and current chairman Hong Ki-ho, etc., from entrepreneurs, served as chairman. Chairman Hong said that he would raise the federation to a higher level with solid financial support measures as a businessman.
Chairman Hong Ki-ho △Create an environment for players to focus only on sports by establishing a scholarship system for players △ Raise the level of college volleyball by bringing advanced culture and technology to college volleyball through overseas training for excellent coaches △ Depending on the results of leader research Making it into a university volleyball federation that researches by paying incentives △ making international competitive college volleyball by holding international competitions as a pledge. The goal is to create an environment where coaches can focus on coaching and research, and players can focus on their studies and sports. It is Chairman Hong’s ambition to pursue innovation in this change and raise the overall level of college volleyball. It is based on the belief that college volleyball, which is grassroots volleyball, must properly blossom so that it can bear fruit with professional volleyball and representative volleyball. Chairman Hong said, “You will no longer have to worry about the problems you have been worrying about and worrying about until now.” As long as he is the president, he gave strength to work with the determination that ‘the university federation should go well, and I will do well’.
. When he was young, he moved from one job to another, not shying away from menial jobs. He also served as a military officer in the military and built a solid foundation in the current environmental business through various projects. However, he never forgot that serving others is a valuable life even as he ran toward success. He became the president of the College Volleyball Federation because he always had a desire to do something of public interest.
He said, “I don’t think there is anything better than living a life for others, not for myself. In the meantime, he has been working hard to pursue a stable personal life. He said, “I will do my best to fulfill my responsibility and role as the president of the College Volleyball Federation.”
Chairman Hong practiced Taekwondo and Hapkido during his school days. Hapkido is said to have professional level skills with 4 dan. I did martial arts such as Hapkido because it was a great help in mental training along with physical training. He said that the experience of learning martial arts at the height of his life helped him overcome difficulties.
Chairman Hong has a firm family philosophy that ‘family comes first’. It is said that in his family, he thoroughly takes care of his wife and entrusts everything to him. He likes the saying ‘the strength of a happy family comes from the wife’.