Solidaraity in Asia will be the most powerful weapon.
Lee Chong Hoon, the president Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA), is on a mission and it is only a matter of time, especially softball reaps the benefits.
While the 55-year-old auto industry businessman has been concentrating on baseball as it more popular in Korea, Lee is now giving equal emphasis to softball with the insistence of Softball Asia president, Datuk Low Beng Choo.
Lee who first stepped into assist KBSA in 2017 as a vice-president due to recommendations from softball and baseball people around him, as they wanted him for the development of softball and baseball after combining both orginisations.
Eventually when he ran for KBSA president (whom is in his second term), Lee had a very clear manifesto to put KBSA in a reputable standing and promote the game to see par excellence.
“My two main areas I worked on firstly to attain financial and administrative stability. I tried and succeeded in securing the largest number of sponsors in the association’s history.
KBSA runs a well sponsored softball league for 93 clubs in Incheon and into it’s second year running.
“Secondly, it was an effort to improve the system.
‘For softball, I hired and contracted a foreign coach (Robert Scott Cranford) for our national softball team, so that our players have the experience of developed skills and know-how.
“I was looking forward to result in just concluded Asia Cup, to at least book a berth with a fourth place slot for Asia’s Wild card slot, in the World Cup first stage in July.
“But it was not to be, as we finished fifth and it was our match against Philippines which we lost narrowly (0-2) which probably cost us the berth.
“While I was a little disappointed in the beginning when we failed to get the World Cup ticket, but looking at the bigger picture, I know the players tried their best. Maybe we are still not up to the mark.
“But I am sure it has been a tremendous experience for the players and local coaches. We will definitely richer and wiser from the experience, which will definitely help us grow further and be a force to be reckoned in the very near future.”
Lee also spoke of the experience KBSA got in organising an international tournament of this nature and thanked all the staff, volunteers and expert help they got to make this tournament a successful one.
Lee was also recently elected as a member-at-large in the World baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
“I am starting with softball to be part of our sports family and achieve our mutual goals. For starters, we hosted the Women’s Softball Asia Cup and have earned the right to host the Baseball5 Asian qualifier.
“In baseball, I adopted the Video Replay System for high school baseball tournaments. Especially from this year, we will adopt then Robot Ball-Strike System. Actually it starts from today. I think this is them first attempt in the world history.
“It will be a great help to make our make our sports fair and keep away from potential risks of match-fixing.
Lee said while envisages Korea emerging a major force in the near future, important things to him are communications and to have relationship with international softball and baseball family.
“Nowadays, there is no need to have only one leader. We need to be together and insist same opinion form our sports. Solidaraity in Asia will be the most powerful weapon.”
Leea stickler for grassroots development said he has plans to send the national junior team to Japan exchange programme. It will be a great opportunity for them to play with high-leveled Japanese teams and get meaningful feedback from the coaches
“In addition, we have selected potential players who has then possibility to grow in the near future to be sent to USA for training
“I am also thinking of other ways to give our players and coaches to experience in well-organised and developed countries in the game.
Lee said he would like to concentrate on this current Korean women’ team as he sees tremendous potential in them
Like most nations around the world, Kora was no exception to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was a difficult situation, but we have managed get past it to a great extend and see the lights at the end of the tunnel.
“My thoughts are to think ahead and not to regret. We must always move forward and in unison and solidaraity among ourselves form the love of the game.”
That is Lee for you. A man with passion for the sports and sincerity to promote the sports and offer the best for it in Korea and worldwide.
Jalhassyeoss Eoyo Mr Lee!