There are some female HUFSans who have questioned the common epithet that “Sport is a man’s thing,” in order to be more complete as a person. The sports teams at HUFS have been traditionally male-dominated, with no women competing in the field. But some college girls, who had been managers on formerly all-male teams, are gaining attention for their recent achievements.
They won second place at an early-November soccer competition hosted by Incheon National University. Following this, the team went on to the quarterfinals at The 8th K League Cup College Women’s Club Soccer Competition from Nov. 25 to 26 held in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province. The Argus met FCHolics to explore the practice of women in athletics and their relationship with their teams, and themselves.
Kim Q-won (Graduate School of Management Information System)
Jo Mi-hyeon (Department of History ‘14)
Kim Eun-a (Division of International Sports and Leisure ‘14)
Lee Da-hyun (Division of International Sports and Leisure ‘14)
Min Hyun-a (Division of International Sports and Leisure ‘14)
Choe Hyeon-hui (Division of International Sports and Leisure ‘16)
Kim Yea-sum (Department of English Literature and Culture ‘17)
The Argus: Please briefly introduce FCHolics?
Jo Mi-hyeon: Hi, I am the vice captain of FCHolics, a HUFS women’s football club that is comprised of 21 female HUFSans and one coach. The name itself is a compound word of Football Club and Holic, which is a suffix indicating a person having an abnormal desire for something. We may come from different experiences and backgrounds, but we share one common goal: “To open up an opportunity for college girls from non-sports-majored-university to enjoy the essence of soccer and to let them learn how to interact with each other through football.”
The Argus: How is the training like in FCHolics?
Jo Mi-hyeon: We work out twice a week. The regular training is on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Wednesdays, a former football player coaches our team from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Gwanmun Sports Park in the city of Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. On Saturdays, the practice focuses on learning the game strategy and developing agility skills without being injured. It is from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or longer at the Centennial Complex, Global Campus. We sometimes are too immersed in playing football and lose track of time practicing!
The Argus: What was the motivation that make you jump into FCHolics?
Jo Mi-hyeon: My passion has lied in sports since I was very young, and I have loved football the most. What I had dreamed of was joining a soccer club where people are associated with the same interest in soccer. I was lucky enough to be spotted by a member of FCHolics, who had seen me kicking a soccer ball around by coincidence. That is how my relationship with FCHolics began.
Kim Yea-sum: As a high schooler, I was on my school’s varsity soccer team in the States. I just wanted to continue to play soccer when I came back to Korea, and FCHolics was just what I was looking for.
Lee Da-hyun: I have preferred team sports to individual sports. Soccer was the most attractive sport in the sense that soccer requires one ball and a space to play. The space does not have to be large. What I need is to have two decent and strong legs. I love that anyone that can kick a ball can play soccer.
Min Hyun-a: I have always wanted to learn how to play football, but there was no place or team that would let a girl on a soccer team. Fortunately, I found a women’s soccer club here in HUFS full of people who love soccer so that I can reach out to help.
The Argus: How do people react when they found out you play soccer?
Kim Yea-sum: There are more people who take a dim view of a girl playing soccer than people who encourage me. That does not mean my parents are against it, but they often say something out of concern that I should spend less time and effort on playing soccer.
Some male college friends think me being into football club is problematic. They think that it might hinder me adjusting to school, things like the coursework and environment. I know they are good friends, but because they did not ever see any girls playing football besides me, they would make fun of me for playing football. “That’s why you don’t have boyfriend,” or “What do you think a woman is? You should put on some make-up” are some weird stuff that kind of bothered me.
Kim Q-won: My mother says that she is too shy to say that her grown-up daughter plays football, but her KakaoTalk profile picture is of me playing in the field.
Kim Eun-a: I am popular among my boyfriend’s friend, who know me as “A girl who plays football.” They think that it is cool of a girl to play soccer.
The Argus: What did you learn from FCHolics?
Jo Mi-hyeon: Through trial and error, I learned so many things at FCHolics that motivate me to keep going even during the hectic school life.
First, team sports like football provide well-established social, physical and psychological benefits. Coaches and teammates push players to consistently develop an even better work ethic, and when players work hard and succeed they build confidence. Second, at first, players get frustrated when they fail. They eventually realize that through perseverance, however, that their ability as a player will improve. Players may have to overcome injuries, cold streaks, bad coaches, and more. All these things teach perseverance.
Kim Yea-sum: Playing soccer lead to becoming friends with teammates which can promote a sense of unity. Joining in FCHolics really helped me to build my social life by being friends with my teammates. We share a common bond that fosters friendships as there is no hierarchy here.
Choe Hyeon-hui: The way I see soccer has changed. Whenever I watch a soccer match, there are astonishing times when I can see the players’ movements from a new perspective. I would never have known about these insights on how to play and work together if it had not been for playing soccer at FCHolics.
The Argus: What is something you feel special about FCHolics?
Jo Mi-hyeon: We are open to everyone who is basically interested in playing soccer. We do not want something like appearance, nationality, age, campus, or department major to get in their way to join FCHolics. We have nothing to do with hierarchy. We just call each other by name in the field and treat each team member as a peer, not as someone that we should pay unnecessary respect to in the name of age differences. There was a foreign student last semester, and we supported each other through thick and thin.
People often have a bias against girls who play sports, but whoever with short hair, those with long hair and who like to wear make-up and accessories are all welcome.
The Argus: What are your future plans for FCHolics?
Jo Mi-hyeon: FCHolics sounds capable enough, but we used to be the puniest, least-skilled bunch of twenty-year-olds in the league. We had not won a game. We had not even scored a goal, but we were not particularly upset about our losing streak. The more we bring about good results, the more we are expecting better results. Our goal is to take part in three to four competitions in 2018 and to keep the flow of FCHolics’ power, becoming a stronger force than ever before.
Also, we want more girls to play football. There are so many ways for girls and women to join in FCHolics, no matter what their age or ability level. The thing is, they do not know how to join, or much about the concept of female athletes, as sports clubs are still dominated by men. We hope we can go further with avid participation from more HUFSans.
“Soccer brings people together” perfectly suits FCHolics. Not only have they discovered passion for soccer, but they have also found a reason to be in this club with each other; this is part of the reason why they keep expecting more positive results in the future.
It is now the beginning of the semester. Why don’t you use this time of year to re-discover yourself and your passions? Knowing what you want and where you are heading to are crucial aspects of your life.
By Moon Chae-un
Associate Editor of Campus Section