Squash in Pohang, South Korea by Martin Sadlon
I have been living in South Korea for almost ten months
now, teaching English to children aged 5 through 13.
The city I live in is called Pohang. It is a small
steel-making city an hour north of Busan. Busan is a
fairly large/famous city that many foreigners know. In
Pohang, there are only three clubs that I am aware of.
"OK Squash", where I first joined, had low ceilings,
as in the picture below:
third place, called Sunlin College, has two mini
courts that are so small, I have had to stop playing due
to all the laughter!! I can not stop laughing while I
play, since the court is sooooo tiny, the ceiling
sooooooo low, and even the width has been minimized,
making squash a little dangerous, and very funny.
Where I play now, "Pohang Squash", is the only club in
the city that's part of the Korean Squash Federation,
and seems on board and accurate with all things
squash. Having 500,000, this makes squash very unique
in the city.
Regarding bigger cities like Busan and Seoul, I'm sure
that both are boasting dozens of proper clubs.
This is a
good link showing that there is at least one
court in any major city. Pohang, my city, did not even
make this list, illustrating my point about sometimes
misleading or incomplete info.
Anyways, my club has at least one club league team,
called 'Chowa Chowa Squash!' I would imagine, as there is
no-one for them to play in our city, that they exist
solely to travel and play groups from other nearby
cities. Above that, there are of course the sponsored
pros, who rank top five in my province, and who play
competetively throughout Korea. I have not heard
anything to indicate they travel abroad though.
I do not know
who is coaching them. I have never seen any other
foreigners at the club, so imported professional
coaching, unless in Seoul or Busan, is probably not
As for myself, I have played the little tournaments they
have to loosely rank players within the club, which
are a blast, but lately have simply been spending time
getting used to the new friends and new drills I have
learnt from the new club. Despite my own efforts, I
find myself always moving at the pace of Korea,
meaning that sometimes I will play 3/4 court games for a
week at a stretch, unable to find game partners.
Just going with the flow, I guess!