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"Gaeseong FC is like a restorative drink"
- Gaeseong Football Club(FC), the soccer club in GIC
While there are FC Barcelona, the soccer team representing Barcelona, and FC Bayer Munich standing for Munich, there is Gaeseong FC in GIC, a soccer club formed by South Korean expatriates.
Gaeseong FC is an invincible soccer team as well as the most active club in GIC. They won several times in spring and fall atheletic meetings held by KIDMAC. They won last year's match, leapfrogging KIDMAC Team. Moreover, they participated in an atheletic day by the South's Oryu Orphanage.
The start of Gaeseong FC dates back to 2006. One manager asked Kim Bae-seong, a Regional President of Teamsports to play soccer together since Kim spent a day by doing nothing special except jogging. Therefore a soccer club consisting of 8 people was formed.
"When we first started soccer at a soccer field covered by sand, our legs got blue and bled. We are so thankful that a natural grass field was created in GIC. After that, injury is decreased, and more members attend the game.”
Kim spends most of his time in KICOX standard factory except when he plays soccer. He wakes up at 6:00 in his dormitory room and eats breakfast in cafeteria. He goes to a factory site at 7:00. His main job is to manage the production activity. He brings his own lunch for health care and eats it during lunch time from 12:00. When his quitting time gets closer, North Korean workers ask him, “Don’t you go to play soccer today?”
Kim, who is the leader of soccer club, tells head of a working group to take care of the left and leaves to the soccer field.
The regular match of Gaeseong FC is on every Tuesday and Thursday from 18:30 to 21:00. When the temperature goes down to –4℃, they play soccer at futsal court considering the natural grass. Registered members are 58 but those who regularly attend are about 30~40 people. The reason is because of Gaeseong FC’s prior rule, ‘work-first’.
“Although we love soccer, work is our priority. If someone needs to do overtime work, he cannot come to practice. However, many members focus on work during duty hours in order to participate in practice. Exercise actually improves the efficiency in this sense.”
After warming up, they play soccer during first half and the second half by dividing into two teams, ‘one heart’ and ‘one love’. “Since we have played together for 9 years, we know each other’s thoughts even by looking at eyes,” said Kim.
“We exchange eyes and then avoid when we are about to be bumped against,” smiled Kim. After the game, members gather to chat or have late dinner together.
Kim emphasizes that the purpose of Gaeseong FC is to promote unity and friendship rather than to contend for victory. Also he says that it is like a restorative drink, reducing stress caused by work and overseas life.
※ There are several athletic clubs in GIC such as badminton club, tennis club, and etc.