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Culture and Sports Minister calls for sports system reforms

Culture and Sports Minister calls for sports system reforms

Posted June. 21, 2024 07:43,   

Updated June. 21, 2024 07:43


"The current sports system centered around the Korean Sports & Olympic Committee (KSOC) has reached its limit," said Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Yoo In-chon, highlighting the necessity for sports reform and pointing out the limitations of the KSOC-centric system. Speaking at a meeting with retired national women's volleyball players at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art on Thursday, Yoo emphasized, "There is a need for comprehensive reforms in policy support for sports, elite sports, and school sports. We plan to undertake a thorough overhaul after the Paris Olympics."

Minister Yoo's remarks deliver a direct critique of the KSOC, which oversees amateur sports in the country and operates under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. He also touched on the KSOC's budgetary control over individual sports associations. "We are exploring ways to allocate funds directly to the sports associations to allow them greater autonomy," the minister said. "We aim to ensure these associations can build a healthy ecosystem with a long-term vision." He plans to unveil detailed plans during a background briefing on July 2.

The decline of elite sports is cited as a driving force behind the call for sports innovation. South Korea is expected to send approximately 140 athletes to the Paris Olympics, the fewest since the 50 athletes were sent to the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The country is anticipated to win around five or six gold medals. "Elite sports have been in gradual decline. If we don't start something new now, it will be extremely difficult to recover once we hit the rock bottom, Minister Yoo said. "We are preparing for a major transformation with the mindset of starting anew."

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com