This week’s community member is active in the sports scene in and around Gwangju. If you’re looking for fantasy leagues or looking to play here is a great person to talk to. Here is this weeks person you should know in his own words…
Name: Justin Gunn-Taylor
Length of time in Korea…4 Years
My hometown is famous for…Chicken Wings
If I could have any superpower it would be…Teleportation
My nickname is…JT, Gunn, Gunner
The show I am most likely to binge watch is…It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
My favorite sport to play is…Ice Hockey
The food I am best known for is…Chicken Parm
The best discovery I have made in Gwangju is…Yeomju Ice Rink
My favorite movie is…The Big Lebowski
How did you end up in Gwangju? I always wanted to travel and teach. Upon reccomendation from college friends who were already teaching in Korea, I used the recruiter Teach Away and took the first placement they gave me, Brighton/JLS in Pungam. The paperwork was a long tedious process, but was one of the best decision I could have made. Gwangju is my second home now.
What is your surefire way to beat the blues when you are feeling homesick? Gwangju is a very close knit foreign community. With many resources to help you when you are feeling homesick. When I am feeling homesick, I try to be as active as possible. From hiking a mountain, to skating along the river, playing baseball, or visiting the local watering hole with friends. Keep yourself busy and homesickness won’t be a problem. Also, Skype makes it very easy to stay in touch with family and friends back home.
What is your favorite game to play? My favorite game to play is Ice Hockey. It is fast paced and takes lots of skill and dedication to be good at it. I thought when I left the US for Korea I wouldn’t be able to play here. However , the first year I was here, I found the ice rink. It is here I made my first friends in Korea outside of work. We used to play every Saturday night, but many of the foreigners left and the Gwangju Saturday night game ended. For the few of us left, we have to travel to different cities (Daegu, Jeonju, Seoul, busan) to get our hockey fix. I also get my fix through coaching on Sunday nights and watching games on TV. I am hoping the winter olympics next year will create more interest in Gwangju, so we can start playing games in Gwangju again.
Do you belong to any clubs or community organizations in Gwangju? Gwangju is a very diverse community. It has many different organizations to meet the needs of almost everybody. You just need to put yourself out there. I am currently part of 3 organizations/clubs at the moment. My buddy and I are the co-coaches of the Gwangju Giants Ice Hockey team. We are teaching kids and adults every Sunday night for two hours at Yeomju Ice Rink. I am also apart of the Gwangju Bombers, an all foreigner (except a couple of Koreans) baseball team. We play games every Saturday when the weather gets warm against local teams. I also have helped local youth baseball teams throughout my four years here. My niches are very sports oriented, but there are many chances to volunteer and join organizations in Gwangju.