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Coach’s Foundation Helps Kids in Need

Posted December. 24, 2005 03:00,   


National team coach Hong Myeong-bo said, “Korea does not have a mature donation culture yet. It’s probably still too early, but everything has to start sometime. You have to let it take a root.”

Hong donates all of his modeling earnings to his soccer foundation, but it isn’t enough.

“I will have to start talking to rich people I know. There are a lot of young soccer players who quit playing because of monetary constraints. I want to rekindle their dying hopes. Rich people can’t say no to that. ” Hong says with a chuckle.

Since he spent more time overseas than in Korea, he didn’t have much time to spend on the foundation. But Hong plans to devote more of his time to it as soon as the 2006 Germany World Cup is over and he starts his doctorate courses at Korea University.

He has recently created a logo for his foundation: a green ball. It symbolizes his wish to help budding young athletes play on the green grass of athletic fields.

His scholarship is not much in the grand scheme of things. But he still feels happy watching young athletes he helped onto the field. Shin Yeong-cheol (Seongnam Ilhwa) and Yi Sang-hyeop (FC Seoul) are two players who Hong helped through his scholarship foundation.

“As soon as the scholarship recipients find security in the pro league, they will join the foundation’s effort to help others who needed help as they once did,” Hong says.

Hong is currently talking to other organizations about moving his charity football matches from December to a warmer month. His charity events bring in approximately 250 million won a year for sick and needy children.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com