WCS AND KOLECO PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPING AND PROMOTING SKATEBOARDING IN SOUTH KOREA
By: Martin Karas
Photo credits: Martin Karas, Ebert Kim, KOLECO org.
Early in May 2015, WCS’s president and founder Don Bostick and Martin Karas were invited to Seoul, South Korea to meet with the KOLECO organization’s president Mr. Myung Jae-Seon to discuss future projects and sign a partnership treaty for developing skateboarding scene, culture and events for the youth in South Korea.
The whole project and idea for WCS - KOLECO partnership started when WCS was contacted by KOLECO organization Mr. Song Ju-Suk, Mr. Park Ju Yeon and our WCS Korean Program Coordinator Elbert Kim to fly over to Seoul and meet personally with the members of the Koleco organization, discuss potential project on developing and promoting skateboarding to the youth and young generation of kids in South Korea where skateboarding is very popular and growing.
We, at WCS, were very pleased with the invitation and headed over to Korea in the beginning of May 2015. Part of our visit was also a training course for the members of KOLECO to give information on the organization, promotion and technical aspects of running skateboard events on different levels, starting with local competitions to international world class events for professional skateboarders. Part of this seminar was also the training on the standards and criteria of skateboard judging and methods used when organizing skateboard events on all skateboard levels around the world, starting from amateur to professional level. The 3-day seminar was held in the Korean Olympic Park complex and was very successful and brought many important information to skateboarders and KOLECO members.
After the seminar Don and Martin met with the Stunt-B crew and it’s founding lead member and a Korean skateboard legend Seung Hyun Baek and his crew members who have being doing an amazing job in the city of Seoul and other parts of South Korea in promoting skateboarding to the public and also running a very important training program for kids who are interested in skateboarding. The Stunt-B crew members are teaching skateboarding from the very basics to advanced level in public skateparks of Seoul and visiting and giving lessons in elementary schools and high schools of Korea where kids are now very interested in skateboarding. It was a real pleasure to meet all the guys who’s work is so important for the culture and skateboarding worldwide!
Don and Martin have also visited the very first Korean skateshop – the TUSSA skateboard shop that started in 1996 and has been a Mecca for many Korean skateboarders in the past years. The owner and general manager Kim Jin-Tea gave WCS a history tour and showed us some important memorabilia from the history of Korean skateboarding. After Tussa WCS has visited the representatives of skateboard distributions in Seoul and owners of action sport shops that are supporting the scene and also the Stunt-B crew members and helping local skateboarding by manufacturing a Stunt-B skateboard brand – a local board company that supports and promotes local riders like Baek and other good skateboarders.
WCS have also visited some of the local parks and one unique skateboard plaza in the very heart of the Seoul city. This was an amazing experience!! Skateboarding in Korea is something that the youth and young generation really loves and enjoy doing!!
The last day was the day of the WCS – KOLECO treaty of cooperation for the future project. Representatives of both of the organizations - president Mr. Myung Jae-Seon and Don Bostick signed a mutual agreement on partnership and future development of skateboarding in Korea by helping and promoting events, training camps and bringing international riders to South Korea to show the youth of this amazing country the beauty of something that connects the whole world through a skateboarding experience and people enjoy it from the bottom of their hearts!!
WCS and KOLECO is looking forward to many projects that will come in the future for all of the Korean kids and young skateboarders!! We will do our best to make as much of skateboarders, kids and newly started riders simply happy with their skateboard under the feet when riding!!
WCS would like to thank: KOLECO and it’s president Mr. Myung Jae-Seon, Mr. Park Ju Yeon, Mr. Song Ju-Suk, Elbert Kim and his sister Kathy, Seung Hyun Baek and his team mates, Tussa shop, Stunt-B skateboards + crew and everybody who showed us the beauty of Seoul city and shared with us the hospitality and beautiful friendship of South Korea!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!