Tavern Interview: KICKiT Football

Photos Courtesy of KICKiT Football.

Editor’s Note: This interview is presented in English and the original Korean. Please read it in the language you prefer.

Here at the Tavern, one of the things that we are working on is making it a place where we can tell diverse stories of how football is growing and changing in Korea. For this Tavern Interview, it’s time to meet a group of Yonsei University students who play on the women’s football club W-Kicks together. Ohm-da, Seon-kyung, and Seon-young took the time to answer our questions and share their football experiences with us.

(자기소개) Can you briefly introduce yourselves and how you all met?

안녕하세요, 저희는 ‘축구로 물든 일상’ 을 슬로건으로 채널을 운영하고 있는 유튜버 ‘키킷’입니다. 

엄다(다영), 선경은 체육교육학과 15학번 그리고 선영은 경영학과 15학번으로 연세대학교 여자축구동아리 W-KICKS 를 통해 만나 친해졌습니다.

축구를 항상 같이하고 축구에 대한 얘기를 하다보니 여기까지 오게 되었습니다. 

Hello, we are the Youtubers from the “KICKiT” account. Our motto for our channel is “Life colored in football”. 

Ohm-Da (Da-young’s nickname) and Seon-kyung are in the Class of 2015 in the Physical Education department, and Seon-young is in the Class of 2015 in Business at Yonsei University. We became friends through Yonsei’s women’s football student club called “W-KICKS”.

We pretty much played football and talked about football together all the time, and that’s how we got to where we are now.

How did you all start playing football? What are your first memories of the game?

엄다: 어렸을 때부터 아빠와 축구를 즐겨했었어요. 축구 뿐만 아니라 다양한 스포츠를 했었지만 그 중에서도 축구를 가장 좋아하고 잘 했었고요. 초등학교 시절에는 친구들과 학교가 끝나자마자 매일 축구를 했던 기억이 있습니다. 중, 고등학교 때는 현실적인 이유로 축구를 하지 못했고 대학교를 들어와서 다시 축구를 시작했어요. 대학교 1학년 데뷔전에서 프리킥으로 데뷔골을 넣어 다같이 기뻐하던 순간이 아직도 강렬한 기억으로 남아있습니다.

Ohm-Da: From a young age, my dad and I enjoyed football together.  I played many sports but I was best at football and enjoyed playing it the most.  In my elementary school days, I remember playing football with my friends every day as soon as school was out.  For practical reasons I could not play football during middle and high school. I began to play football again only when I entered university. I still have vivid memories of my team celebrating together the moment when I scored my debut goal on a free kick in my freshman year.

선경: 대학교 입학 후 과 동아리에 축구동아리가 있어서 처음으로 축구를 접했어요. 처음으로 게임을 뛴 것은 대학교 1학년, 서울컵2015(fc서울 주최)에 나가서 교체출전으로 2분에서 3분 정도 뛰었던 것으로 기억해요. 공도 만지지 못하고 잔디만 밟고 나왔어요..ㅎㅎ 그때를 생각하면 그만큼 실력이 기대에 미치지 못 했었어요. 

Seon-kyung: I played football for the first time when I started university and joined the football club. My first game was during the Seoul Cup 2015(held by FC Seoul) in my freshman year.  I remember playing maybe two to three minutes as a sub. I hardly touched the ball and just felt the grass. LOL. When I think back on it, my skills did not match my expectations.  

선영: 저도 엄다와 비슷하게 어린시절 가족들과 그리고 초등학생 때 친구들과 축구를 즐겨했었어요. 첫 게임은 동아리 들어왔던 대학교 2학년 서울컵2016 조별예선 경희대 경기였어요. 선발출전에 풀타임이였는데 체력적으로도 너무 힘들었고 아무것도 못한 기분이였던 경기였습니다. (ㅠㅠ)

Very similar to Ohm-Da, I enjoyed football with my family when I was young and played football with my friends during elementary school. My first game was during my sophomore year in the Seoul Cup 2016 Group Stage Qualification against Kyunghee University.  It was challenging for me physically to play the full 50 minutes(full time in amateur league) and I felt like I didn’t make any contribution…

When you were young, were there youth teams for girls to play on? Did you ever prefer playing on boys teams?

엄다: 저희 학교에는 여자축구부가 없었어요. 남자축구부만 있었죠. 제가 훈련을 골대 뒤에서 지켜 보다가 공이 나가면 공을 주워다 주기도 하면서 얼굴을 익혔었어요. 어린 마음에 부럽기도 하고 같이 하고싶어서요. 우연히 기회가 되어서 경기에 잠깐 뛰었었는데 옆 학교 여자축구부 감독님께서 그 모습을 보고 스카우트 제의를 했었어요. 물론 부모님이 반대하셨지만요.

There was no girls team at my school, only a boys team.  I learned by watching the boys’ games. I would watch standing behind the goal posts and  would sometimes throw the out of bounds ball back. As a child, I was envious and wanted to play with them.  By chance I got to play on the field for a few minutes when a girls’ team coach happened to watch me. She made a scout offer and of course, my parents objected.  

선경: 어렸을 때는 여자축구를 조금이라도 접해본적이 없었어요. 여자축구부도, 여자축구를 즐기는 아마추어도 주변에 없었기 때문에 축구를 해볼 기회가 아예 없었어요.

I never had any exposure to women’s football at all as a child.  I had no one around me who enjoyed women’s football and so I had no opportunity to play football.  

선영: 저는 지방에 살고 있었는데 전혀 없었어요. 학교에 남자축구팀처럼 점심시간마다 모여 차는 친구들이 있었는데 초등학교때까지는 같이 뛰게 해주곤 했는데 중학교부턴 그런 것도 사라졌죠. 자연스럽게 뛸 수 있는 팀도 그리고 함께 할 사람도 없어지면서 중/고등학교때는 축구를 거의 못하게 됐어요.

I lived in a rural area, and there were no such concepts (female youth teams) there. In school, the boys would get together at lunch and play together, kind of like a boys team, and they would let me play together in elementary school, but that stopped during middle school. There wasn’t really a team I could play on, and there wasn’t really anybody for me to play with, so I rarely got to play any football during middle and high school.

What did people say when you were young and interested in football? Do people still say the same things or do you think the attitudes in Korea towards women’s football are changing?

엄다: 사실 제 자신이 그런 말에 신경을 쓰지 않았기 때문에 누가 뭐라고 했는지는 기억이 나지 않아요. 여자가 축구하는 모습이 흔하지는 않았고 신기해하긴 했지만 저는 그냥 제가 좋아하는 걸 했어요. 그래도 요즘은 점차 인식이 변해가고 있다는 것을 느껴요.

Ohm-Da: Actually, I didn’t really care about things like that, so I don’t really remember who said what about stuff like that. It’s true, it wasn’t common to see women practice football and it was fascinating sometimes, but I really just wanted to do what I enjoyed doing. But I do feel that it’s starting to slowly change, the attitude towards it.

선영: 또래 사이에서는 편견이 있진 않았어요. 같이 운동하고 친해진 친구들이었기 때문에 그랬던 것 같아요. 처음 만난 사람들은 여자가 축구를 좋아한다고 하면 얕게 좋아할 것이라고 생각하는 경우가 많았는데, 매우 관심이 많다는 사실을 서서히 알게 되면 그 열정을 인정해주는 것 같아요.

친척어른들이나 부모님의 지인들은 굉장히 신기해했고 어울리지 않는다고도 생각했었던 것 같은데 지금은 축구를 정말 많이 하고 즐기는 사람들과 함께 하다보니 그런 시선은 많이 사라졌다고 생각해요.

Seon-young: There wasn’t much judgment among people my age. I think it’s because my friends and I became real close since we played football together. When I first meet somebody, they think that when a woman says she likes football, they’ll think that she just likes it casually or something, but when they realize how passionate a girl can be about football, then they definitely acknowledge that passion. 

Among my extended family or those around my parents’ age, they did think before that it’s quite fascinating and that it doesn’t really make much sense for a woman. But now, since I’m surrounded by so many people who really enjoy playing football, I do think that that kind of thinking has tempered down quite a bit.

How are you all involved in football today? What is the aim of your Youtube and Instagram SNS platforms?

선영: 저는 현재 한국대학여자축구클럽연맹(KUWFCF)에서 홍보팀장으로 3년째 일하는 중이에요. 키워드 여자축구에 관련된 모든 정보를 공유하는 페이스북 페이지인 ‘여자축구의모든것'(줄임말: 여축모)의 에디터도 맡고 있고요. 그리고 현재 소속되어 있는 연세대학교 여자축구동아리 W-KICKS 의 SNS를 관리하고 있어요. 

올해 초에는 축구사업 회사에서 인턴생활을 하는 등 다양한 일을 하면서 축구와 함께 하는 중입니다.

Seon-young: I have been working as the Marketing Team Manager for the Korea University Women’s Football Club Federation (https://www.instagram.com/kuwfcf/) for three years. I’m also an editor for the website All About Women Football (http://www.aawf.co.kr/), which is sharing all kinds of information about ‘women’s football’. 

Finally, I’m my football club’s social media manager. I’ve been doing these various jobs and internships while enjoying my football.

키킷(3명): 키킷은 앞으로도 축구의 즐거움을 나누는 채널이 될 것이라고 생각해요. 성별, 나이에 관계없이 축구를 즐기는 모습을 담고 또 일상과 축구가 함께하는 키킷 멤버의 모습을 많은 사람들에게 공유하고 싶어요. 선한 영향력을 주고싶은 거죠.

부가적으로는 키킷이 몸담고 있는 여자축구를 지속적으로 조명하고 축구를 하고 싶은 여성들에게 편견없는, 자유로운 환경을 조성하는데 기여하고 싶습니다.

KICKiT (all three): KICKiT wants to be a channel where everyone can come together to share their enjoyment of football. Also, we want to show people enjoying football regardless of age or gender, and share the KICKiT members playing football in their everyday life. We hope we can give positive effects to others. 

Additionally, we want to continually shed light on the women’s football KICKiT is involved in and contribute to creating a free and unbiased environment for women who want to play football.

Which Korean teams are you fans of? Do you have favorite players you’d like to talk about?

엄다: 저는 좋아하는 특정 팀과 선수는 없어요. 사실 제 목표가 최애(최고로 좋아하는) 팀을 찾는 거에요. 특정 팀을 응원하고 또 매 경기도 챙겨보고 싶어서요. 해외 선수 중에는 다비드 실바, 데 브라이너와 같은 플레이메이커 스타일의 선수를 좋아합니다.

Ohm-Da: I don’t have a specific favorite team or player. Honestly, it is a recent goal of mine to find a favorite team. I want to support this team and go to every match they play. In terms of foreign players, I like the playmaking style of players like David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne.

선경: 인천에서 자랐기 때문에 연고지 팀인 인천유나이티드를 좋아해요. 좋아하는 선수는 맨시티의 사네에요. 저와 같은 위치에서 뛰고, 또 빠르고요. 저와 좀 비슷한면이 있는 선수를 좋아해요. ㅎㅎ

Seon-kyung: Because I grew up in Incheon I like our hometown team Incheon United FC. My favorite player is Leroy Sane of Man City. He plays my position and he’s fast. I like players that are similar to me.

선영: 강원도에서 자라서 연고팀은 강원FC에요. 경기는 자주 챙겨보진 않지만 그래도 지켜보는 편이고요. 제가 맨유 10년 차 팬인데 과거에는 다비드 비야 선수를 좋아했는데 현재는 딱히 특정할 수 없어요. 축구지능이 있고 헌신적인 미드필더 선수를 좋아해요. 저도 제 플레이 스타일과 비슷한 선수들을 좋아합니다. 

Seon-young: Since I grew up in Gangwon-do my hometown team is Gangwon FC. I don’t always go to the matches but I follow the team. I have also been a fan of Man United for ten years. In the past, I liked David Villa but currently I don’t really have a specific player. I like midfielders who have good football intelligence and commitment. Like Seon-kyung, I also like players who have a similar playing style as me. 

Talk about some of your most memorable experiences watching football in Korea.

여자축구 경기에서는 저희 세명이 함께 보러 갔었던 인천현대제철 대 경주한수원 WK리그 경기, 그리고 4년 만에 국내에서 열렸던 A매치 경기인 아이슬란드전이 기억에 남아요.

특별한 추억으로는 대구FC 경기에요. 광저우 헝다와의 AFC챔피언스리그 경기였는데, 촬영 차 당일치기로 운전을 해서 서울-대구를 왕복했었어요.  K리그는 인기없고 재미없다는 편견을 없애준 직관이었고 팬들의 함성과 파워풀한 경기력, 플레이를 코앞에서 볼 수 있는 경기장까지 삼박자가 맞아 떨어지는 경기였다고 생각해요.

Of the women’s football matches we have watched all together as three, we watched the WK League match of Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels versus Gyeongju KHNP WFC. Also, we saw the first women’s football A match against Iceland, which was the first women’s A match in Korea in four years.

A special memory for me is the Daegu FC match I saw. It was an AFC Champions League match against Guangzhou Evergrande, and we made the round trip to Daegu from Seoul to watch the match and capture the experience. This match got rid of my intuition that the K League is unpopular and boring. Instead, the combination of the crowd’s roar, the powerful performance from the Daegu players, and the fact the stadium places the action right in front of you tripled the realization for me.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up that you want to tell us about?

엄청 구체화된 프로젝트는 아니지만 현재 업로드 되고 있는 ‘연계플레이 하이킷X키킷크루’ 의 연장선으로 대학생/성인 대상 취미 프로젝트를 생각하고 있어요.

하이킷X키킷크루를 기획하면서 대학생, 일반 성인을 위한 프로젝트도 있었으면 좋겠다는 얘기가 많았었거든요. 저희 나이 또래 분들과 축구를 함께하는 취미 공유 프로젝트를 한다면 재미있고 뜻 깊은 기획물이 나오지 않을까 싶어요. 🙂 

It’s not a fully realized project but we are thinking of a project for college student/adults as an extension of the “Connecting Play: HighKit x KICKiT Crew” we are uploading now. While we have had the opportunity to do ‘HighKit x KICKiT Crew’ we have talked a lot about how good it would be to have a project for college students and regular adults. Sharing a project with people our age who enjoy football as a hobby can be not only fun but also deeply meaningful.

For more of the KICKiT Crew, you can follow them on Instagram (@kickit_football) and on their YouTube Channel.

About Michael Welch 89 Articles
That Halfie Korean-American who loves football (I mean, soccer).

1 Comment

  1. Hopefully their definitive stance on woman’s football and love for the game doesn’t expire too early.. It’s refreshing to see a group of young ladies take up the mantle and shine some light on a genre of sport where some attention is needed! Go get ’em, girls!

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