The last week in February was especially nice while teaching English in Korea; the temperature hit at about 40-50 degrees during the day. Although Spring officially begins on March 20, this first week in March in Korea was a great welcome for warmer weather; I want to say that Spring is in the air! The past Saturday, we hit 70 and what a glorious day that was for a Pohang Steelers game at the Pohang Steel Yard.
The Pohang Steelers is a professional football club based in Pohang, Korea. According to Wikipedia, they were originally called POSCO, after the Pohang Iron and Steel Company that owned it. The club was founded in 1973 and is one of Korean football's most successful sides. They are the most successful team in Asia with three AFC Champions League titles. The Pohang Steelers competed for the FIFA World Cup in 2009 and place 3rd. Needless to say, this the Pohang Steelers have what it take to compete!!
Pohang has a surprisingly large community of English teachers and other foreigners from all around the world. And facebook has been a major link for connecting to other expats living and teaching in Korea. Earlier this week, a post to a local group “Pohang Legends” was made by an expat about the upcoming game and if anyone was interested in attending the Steelers game on March 9 at 3pm. I decided that I would go and I met up with others teachers on the day of the game at the downtown McDonalds. I was excited to see a few other familiar English teachers in addition to hang out with my new friend Denise. After some chit chat and waiting around for others to arrive, the six of us split up and caught a taxi to the stadium for the game.
That day, I learned a few things:
1. How to get to the Steelers (home) games. POSCO is a huge steel company in Korea and POSCO owns the Pohang Steelers. The stadium is located relatively close to the steel yard and so, if you say , they’ll usually figure out that you’re going to the stadium, especially if you or someone in the group is wearing a Steelers jersey.
2. Football (American Soccer) season was just starting in Korea. March 2nd was the official start of football season worldwide.
3. The Pohang Steelers are a really good team. Not only did they win this past game 3-0, but they’ve competed internationally as well coming in third place for the FIFA World Cup in 2009.
4. A car is given away at every game. When you enter the stadium, you are given a raffle ticket, half of which is put into a container and two lucky numbers are called during half time. One person will win a brand new sedan and the other will win an LCD tv. Who wins what is decided by a large dice thrown three times. The dice will either land on black or red while the two persons stand on large red or black squares; it’s best two out of three!
5. The Jerseys are a little expensive. Steelers jerseys run about 60,000 KRW and if you want it personalized, it’s another 15,000 KRW. I think it’ll be totally worth it though! Go Steelers!! <3
6. Korea’s military are sometimes in attendance. What a sight that was; an entire section in the stands were filled with Korean militia in their red jerseys and military pants and combat boots. And, they cheered!!
7. Discounted tickets are available through a website, although it’s only in Korean. So, in order to get this card that allows 25 games for about 60,000 won you’d either need to know Korean or someone who speaks it well enough and willing to help you.
Although I haven’t really followed soccer ever, I thoroughly enjoyed the game! The weather was perfect, the game was exciting, I was in good company and the Steelers won, 3-0. I am officially a Steelers fan and will be working on getting the discounted card and football jersey to show my Pohang Steelers pride. Go Steelers!!
Nailah Rivers was born in Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the United States with her family at the age of seven. She graduated Rutgers University in 2011 with a degree in psychology. Her sophomore year in college, she knew for sure that she would pursue a teaching career with a focus on elementary school. After a risky move to Miami, Florida in 2011, Nailah decided to take a chance and apply to teach English in South Korea with Chungdahm Learning. She is currently teaching in Pohang, South Korea and is having a good time teaching and learning. Follow her blog to get the inside scoop on teaching abroad.Follow Nailah on Pintrest!