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Meeting the Hidden Heroes of the Annual Yon-Ko Games
Meeting the Hidden Heroes of the Annual Yon-Ko Games

Prepared by the Student Council Emergency Response Committee, Athletics Department, Akaraka, Blue Knights, and YBS

On September 8th and 9th, shuttling between Sinchon, Mokdong, and Goyang, we successfully concluded the most passionate festival, the Yon-Ko Games. Throughout the games, the athletes from our sports teams burned with determination, giving their best on the field. Together with the 400,000 Yonsei students who became the true heroes of the Yon-Ko Games, we met the behind-the-scenes student groups who tirelessly prepared to ensure everyone could enjoy the festival.

With sincerity to our fellow students,
The Student Council Emergency Response Committee & Athletics Department

From left to right: Lee Jun, Vice Chairman of the Student Council Emergency Response Committee; Hong Seokhyun, Chairman;

Gwak Junmin, Head of Athletics Department; Jo Yeonkyung, Vice Head.

The top priority for the Student Council Emergency Response Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Emergency Committee) and the Athletics Department, responsible for planning, preparing, and operating the event, has always been our fellow students. The Emergency Committee oversees the entire process of Yon-Ko Games, including the pre-events like Yon-Ko Fest and the main event itself, while the Athletics Department is in charge of safety and entry management.

"Because it's such a significant event, various related organizations collaborate in the preparations. While the Athletics Department handles safety, and the Akaraka(Cheerleading Squad) takes care of the cheering, the Emergency Committee collects and finalizes input from various groups to collaborate with the school. This year, being the hosting university, we meticulously prepared everything from the big picture to the smallest details."

Hong Seokhyun, Chairman of the Student Council Emergency Response Committee

(Industrial Engineering '20)

"We prioritized safety above all else, ensuring that not a single student would get injured and establishing protocols for handling any unforeseen accidents. Given previous years' challenges with smooth event entry, we concentrated on advance notices and on-site operations this year to ensure a swift and secure entry."

Gwak Junmin, Head of the Athletics Department, Student Council

(Sports Applied Industrial Engineering '20)

The Emergency Committee actively engaged in communication with other organizations, accommodating as many opinions as possible. This included ticket distribution, securing seats for the alumni association, and barrier-free seating, as well as arranging seating based on academic departments. It was a demanding and continuous process of communication and opinion gathering, but it was deemed necessary.

"We made an effort to view things from the perspective of our fellow students. Until last year, students had to arrange their own transportation from their departments or clubs to the venue. However, this year, we operated shuttle buses from Goyang Stadium, where the closing ceremony was held, to Sinchon, with support from the school."

Hong Seokhyun, Chairman of the Student Council Emergency Response Committee.

The Athletics Department also prioritized students' well-being and enjoyment while emphasizing safety.

"While management is essential for safety, we aimed to strike a balance between control and allowing students to enjoy the games. Taking into consideration the hot weather in early September, we collaborated with the Student Affairs and Services Team to install outdoor cooling systems in the corridors, ensuring a more comfortable viewing experience for our fellow students."

Gwak Junmin, Head of the Athletics Department, Student Council

"On the day of the Yon-Ko Games, we divided responsibilities among the 60 members of the Athletics Department, assigning individuals to specific venues. To ensure efficiency and assess potential risks both inside and around the stadiums, we conducted multiple site inspections. Everyone became so familiar with every nook and cranny of the stadiums that they could practically memorize them all (laughs)."

Jo Yeonkyung, Vice Head of the Athletics Department, Student Council (Physical Education '20)

In preparation for the Yon-Ko Games, they maintained close communication not only with on-campus organizations but also with the Korea University Student Council.

"We had extensive communication with the Korea University Student Council. We wanted to emphasize that the Yon-Ko Games are an event that symbolizes harmony between Yonsei and Korea University. In our encouragement message for this year's Yon-Ko Games, we highlighted 'youth,' 'spirit,' and 'applause' as keywords. Among them, 'applause' signifies the essence of Yon-Ko Games. Just like applause requires both hands to come together to create a sound, Yon-Ko Games is an event where our students and Korea University students must come together for it to be truly complete. Now, we hope to see blue and red combined to make purple in the Yon-Ko Games. It's all about competition and unity!"

Hong Seokhyun, Chairman of the Student Council Emergency Response Committee.

(Photo Credit: Yonsei University Student Council Emergency Response Committee)

The closing ceremony and afterparty held in the Sinchon area are significant events not only for students but also for local merchants. In the interest of mutual benefit for students and merchants, the Emergency Committee personally visited over 50 shops and met with the owners.

"After the closing ceremony, students from our university and Korea University come together in a long procession to enjoy the afterparty. The cultural tradition known as 'train play' had its continuity disrupted due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this time, we visited businesses in the Sinchon area and established agreements with merchants to revive the 'train play' culture. Our aim was to ensure that our fellow students can fully savor the enduring memories of the Yon-Ko Games."

Lee Jun, Vice Chairman of the Student Council Emergency Response Committee

(International Trade '20)

The blood donation Yon-Ko Games, initiated last year in collaboration with the Red Cross, is an event jointly planned by our university's Student Council and Korea University's Student Council.

"We conducted the blood donation Yon-Ko Games event in collaboration with the Korea University Student Council, and it garnered enthusiastic participation due to its nature as a goodwill competition that benefits society. It was even recognized as an exemplary case within the Red Cross. This year, with support from various companies, we were able to hold the blood donation Yon-Ko Games on a grander scale compared to last year."

Lee Jun, Vice Chairman of the Student Council Emergency Response Committee.

We extend warm gratitude to the dedicated efforts of the Student Council Emergency Response Committee and the Athletics Department, who worked tirelessly and went the extra mile to create events not only for our fellow students but also for the community.

Writing the Chronicles of Radiant Youth, Akaraka (Cheerleading Squad)

The highlight of the Yon-Ko Games is the spirit of cheering. Our university's cheerleading squad, Akaraka, has a proud history dating back to the 1970s. They take pride in their rich traditions and history. Throughout the year, they lead and participate in various events, starting with the regular Yon-Ko Games and including freshman orientation, joint cheering events with Korea University, and 'Akaraka for All,' the largest university festival and cheering event in Korea.

"Akaraka's history is intertwined with the history of the Yon-Ko Games. We strive to create an environment where all Yonsei members, including students, alumni, and staff, can come together to cheer as one and lend our support to the athletes, ensuring they do not tire out."

Park Kwangseo, Captain of the 2023 Cheerleading Squad

(Construction and Environmental Engineering '18)

"When I see the stands filled with blue, I naturally feel the 'Yonsei spirit' rising (laughs). We make sure to maintain eye contact and communicate with our fellow students, sharing our enthusiasm and joy so that they can feel the excitement and join us in cheering."

Im Chaerin, Vice Captain of the 2023 Cheerleading Squad 

(Interior Architecture '21)

(Photo Credit: Cheerleading Squad)

In preparation for the Yon-Ko Games, the cheerleading squad dedicates their entire summer vacation, training from early morning at 9 AM to late in the evening on weekdays.

"We continuously hold meetings to plan the sequence of songs and cheers, referring to footage from past Yon-Ko Games. We engage in physical conditioning and during practice, we call out the names of the athletes who will compete in the games as we practice. We also pay attention to how our movements and expressions appear, and we conduct image training."

Park Kwangseo, Captain of the 2023 Cheerleading Squad

"Our cheerleading squad is famous for its rigorous physical training regimen. The most challenging exercise involves running eight rounds, back and forth, on the steep slope leading to Muak Dormitory. Running up and down the Amphitheater stairs along with the path to Muak Dormitory constitutes the twin peaks of our physical training. While running to Muak Dormitory, we sometimes run into students from the sports teams (laughs)."

Im Chaerin, Vice Captain of the 2023 Cheerleading Squad

"We dedicate an entire year to prepare for two days of cheering during the five matches of the Yon-Ko Games. It's a moment of pride when the cheers from our fellow students and our squad come together to reach the athletes. The most satisfying moment is when the athletes, who have poured their hearts into the game, step onto the podium to greet our fellow students and conclude the event beautifully."

Park Kwangseo, Captain of the 2023 Cheerleading Squad

Even while wearing heavy uniforms and performing demanding choreography, they never lose their smiles. The cheerleading squad draws strength from seeing their fellow students genuinely enjoying the support. They expressed their desire to continue creating pages of youth that their fellow students can cherish.

"This year, we conducted various events under the concept of 'Chronicles of Radiant Youth,' from freshman orientation to the joint cheering event, 'Akaraka for All,' and the Yon-Ko Games. We hope that these events will remain precious memories for our fellow students, forming a beautiful chapter in their youth."

Im Chaerin, Vice Captain of the 2023 Cheerleading Squad

The cheerleading squad worked behind the scenes on numerous efforts, including installing water cannons to cool down the heat at the Goyang Stadium, collaborating with relevant departments to ensure the smooth progress of the closing ceremony in the car-free zone of Yonsei-ro, and many other unseen contributions. They deserve an applause for giving their fellow students an unforgettable chapter in their youth.

Creating Blue Waves, Blue Knights

Creating a sea of blue waves, the Blue Nights, our university's flag-bearing team, has been actively participating in events requiring flags, such as freshman orientation, joint cheering events, festivals, and graduation ceremonies for the past 13 years. They were officially recognized as an autonomous student organization in 2008.

"It seems like the Yon-Ko Games are becoming not just about the athletes' matches but a festival enjoyed by all. The Blue Nights are focusing on performances that can boost the festival's atmosphere."

Yoo Junwoo, Vice Captain of the 22nd Blue Nights

(Electrical and Electronic Engineering '18)

To adapt to the changing atmosphere of the Yon-Ko Games, the Blue Nights engaged in intense training sessions, visiting the Athletic field and the Amphitheater several times a week. During the late-August training sessions, they dedicated themselves to training for up to 12 hours, starting at 10 AM.

"During practice, we use thicker and heavier flagpoles than the actual ones. This prepares us to handle the real thing more smoothly during tense moments."

Kim Minsu, Member of the 23rd Blue Nights

(Mirae Campus, Mathematics '19)

From standard-sized flags to massive ones reaching up to 4 meters in length, the Blue Nights use a variety of flags in their performances. This requires them to conduct outdoor training even during the scorching summer. A critical concern for the Blue Nights is the weather since they need an open space for their performances.

"In 2019, due to Typhoon 'Lingling,' our performance on the second day of the Yon-Ko Games was canceled. So, this year, it's like we're facing the second day of the Yon-Ko Games for the first time. That's why we kept a close eye on the weather while preparing for the Yon-Ko Games, and, more than anything else, we were nervous about how unpredictable the weather could be (laughs)."

Kim Minsu, Member of the 23rd Blue Nights

Marching to the beat and raising and fluttering flags in accordance with the cadence, the Blue Nights, our university's flag team, evoke the graceful flight of a free eagle. The exhilarating feeling is palpable when all members perform synchronized movements in harmony with the rhythm. Their performances, marked by precise timing and attention to every detail, aim to provide visual enjoyment for fellow students.

We put a lot of thought into creating movements that can bring visual joy to our fellow students, like domino effects and more. Especially for our cheering performances, we planned and prepared each performance step by step."

Yoo Junwoo, Vice Captain of the 22nd Blue Nights

"Yon-Ko Games is a stage where our flag team's dedication to improvement is on full display. We aimed to enhance the splendor of our existing performances and ventured into new creative attempts to convey the unique charm of our flag team. We hope that our fellow students can also appreciate the allure of the flags through our performances."

Shin Soo Bin, Captain of the 26th Blue Nights

(Applied Statistics '22)

This year, the flag team increased the number of 4m grand flags and delivered dynamic performances using large banners, leaving a deep impression on their fellow Yonsei students. When fellow students complimented the flag team's performance, it filled the faces of the flag team members with pride and love for Yonsei.

"When our fellow students witness the sea of blue waves created by their close-up view, there are moments when it feels like it could pour down. The cheers of our fellow students, heart-pounding cheers, and the youthfulness and vibrancy of Yonsei have been the driving force for our flag team's performances over the past few years."

Shin Soo Bin, Captain of the 26th Blue Nights

(Applied Statistics '22)

The flag team's spirited waving of the blue flags is etching an unforgettable blue wave in the hearts of Yonsei students.

Together, Sending Heartfelt Support: YBS

Our university's educational broadcasting station, YBS, has been providing live coverage of all the games and high-quality commentary at the Yonsei-Korea Games every year. This year, in addition to broadcasting the games as the host university, YBS also took charge of broadcasting the opening ceremony and managing the stadium's electronic scoreboard. From senior members to the newly recruited 65th-generation members, everyone played significant roles and dedicated two months of hard work to make the Yon-Ko Games a success.

"Last year, the Yon-Ko Games were held after a three-year hiatus, and there were many inexperienced aspects. However, this year, to overcome the shortcomings of last year, everyone came together and worked diligently. We greatly appreciate the commitment shown by the newly recruited 65th generation members who successfully fulfilled their responsibilities in organizing such a significant event within just one semester."

Kim Jeong-hyuk, Head of YBS Video Division

(Integrated Science and Engineering '22)

"As the head of the soccer team, I oversaw all aspects related to live soccer broadcasts. Despite being a new member, I approached my tasks with a strong sense of responsibility. I paid close attention to every detail, including camera angles, to enhance the quality of our broadcasts."

Moon Seung-geon, YBS News Division

(Political Science and International Relations '23)

The summer at YBS was filled with Yonsei spirit. In addition to preparations for the live coverage of the Yon-Ko Games, YBS worked collaboratively with KUBS (Korea University Broadcasting System) on planning and producing joint broadcasts and creating spot advertisements to challenge Korea University. All these efforts kept YBS busy during the summer vacation.

"Our job at YBS is to capture the games that the athletes have been preparing for a long time and present them vividly. For this year's Yon-Ko Games, we used specialized broadcasting equipment to ensure that even the smallest details of the gameplay were captured and broadcasted. During the second day of rugby and soccer matches, we introduced a slow-motion replay system to enhance the professionalism of our sports coverage."

Seo Yoo-bin, Head of YBS Production Division

(Quantitative Risk Management '22)

”"At YBS, our announcers take on the role of casters for each sport, and we strive for professionalism in our commentary. To achieve this, we invited experts from our university's sports magazine 'Sisboom-ba' to provide analysis. We are grateful that even alumni who used to be athletes or YBS graduates often reach out to offer their assistance in commentary."

Lee Soo-won, YBS Announcer

(Media and Communication '22)

YBS members recall unforgettable moments when their videos, with their hard work spanning two months, were displayed on the big screen and met with enthusiastic responses from fellow students. They find great satisfaction in the cheers and laughter from the crowd.

"When our videos, created through two months of hard work, are displayed on the big screen and met with enthusiastic responses from fellow students, it feels like the most rewarding experience. The cheers and laughter at the scene give us energy."

Seo Yoo-bin, Head of YBS Production Division

YBS conveys the hearts of Yonsei students cheering from various places, including the stadium, Sinchon, Songdo, and Wonju. Thanks to them, Yonsei's youth has become a collection of memories that can be cherished anytime.

We extend our deep gratitude to all the members of the Student Council's Emergency Response Committee, the Athletics Department, the Akaraka, the Blue Knights, and YBS who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to illuminate the athletes and Yonsei students, making the festival of all Yonseians, the Yon-Ko Games, possible.

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