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First Soccer Festival since Covid-19

  • Date 2022-05-23 15:18
  • CategoryStory
  • Hit21491

Social activities and sports are an important part of university life. Unfortunately, after the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic, universities and graduate institutions were not able to conduct such activities with a large number of participants. However, due to effective measures implemented by governments and the vaccination of the citizens, the university life of students is gradually returning to pre-pandemic conditions all around the world including Korea. Therefore, by considering the eased restriction measures of the government, KDIS held a half-day “Semester-Ending Happy Hour.” This event included the Soccer Festival and a performance by the KDIs Zumba club, supported by the Dean of KDIs, Professor Jong-il You.

The event was held on 13th May 2022 at the soccer field of the KDI School. The main purpose of the event was to mark the end of the Spring semester of 2022, to relieve the stress of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, and strengthen the relationships between members of the KDIS community.  The event was open to all students, staff, and faculty members. The participants of the event were divided into two groups, Player and Non-Player participants, the former participated as score players and the latter were supporters and audience. It is worth mentioning that Dean You was particularly eager to encourage women to join this soccer festival.

The event was started with a brief but comprehensive remark by Dean You that welcomed all participants and congratulated them on completing the spring semester of 2022. As such, before starting the football match, the warm-up stretching was delivered to all the players by Mr. Taesub Kim, the Health Centers’ nurse at KDIS. Likewise, before the soccer match, an amazing performance was delivered by the KDIS Zumba Club.

Overall, 4 soccer teams participated in a friendly match; namely Black, Blue, Red and Yellow. These teams consist of 61 participants, including 5 faculty members and 3 members of staff. It is worth noting that each team consisted of 1 or 2 female players. The festival was ended by the second performance of KDIS’ Zumba Club, an award ceremony for the winning team, Team Red, and a photo session.

There were around 200 Non-Player participants, and they enjoyed the match from the beginning to the end. For example, one of the participants said that “After prolonged Covid-19 restrictions, the game was totally fun. Great comebacks and great fans make it more exciting and enjoyable. I enjoyed the happy hour soccer festival”.  Another non-player participant said that “the festival provided me an opportunity to meet with Dean of KDIS in person and take a photo with him.”. Other members of the audience said how much they enjoyed supporting their friends and favorite team in person.

Furthermore, the audience had interesting opinions about the performance of the Zumba Club as well. For instance, one of the audience stated that “the Zumba Club’s performance was amazing, and I have decided to join the club by this summer semester.” 

Diversity and inclusion are important assets and values of KDIS. Female players played alongside male players in the festival. One of the female players stated that “as for me, this was my first experience playing football on the court. Playing in the game is totally different from watching. You will feel more athletic and a sense of peacefulness after the games like that. So, I want students to participate in such games as much as possible. And I hope our school will organize sports events much more in the future.”   

Full of joy and smiles, the winning team celebrated their success. A player on the winning team was asked to share his view on the match, he said, “I feel absolutely ecstatic to be part of the winning team. But ultimately there were no winners or losers. The purpose of the soccer festival was to bring the students, staff and faculty together to have fun, and I think that objective was achieved.”

KDI School of Public Policy and Management always encourages students and other community members of the school to join social activities and sports to maintain a balanced academic and social life and reduce stress. With the easing of past restrictions and the current restriction measures of the Korean government, the KDIS is planning a variety of different activities and events in the future, and the School hopes that all members of the KDIS Community can take part.

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Ahmad Jawed Zahidogli

2021 FALL / MPP / Afghanistan

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