Sun, Jul 15, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Diplomats try their hand at Taiwanese-invented sport

CNA, Taipei

Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang, front center, warms up ahead of the Diplomatic Woodball Friendship Tournament together with ambassadors from diplomatic allies and staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei’s Shuangxi area yesterday.

Photo: CNA

More than a hundred Taiwanese and foreign diplomats gathered in Taipei yesterday for a game of woodball, a Taiwanese-invented game derived from golf and croquet, to promote the game and Taiwan.

The Diplomatic Woodball Friendship Tournament should facilitate sports exchanges and deepen diplomats’ understanding of Taiwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang said in an opening speech.

In recent years, Taiwanese artists and athletes have been very active in the international arena and have contributed tremendously to the image of the country, he said, adding that woodball was a proud asset of Taiwan.

The sport, which requires players to hit balls through gates with wooden mallets, was invented by Weng Ming-hui in 1990 when he attempted to reinvent the game of golf in his private garden to avoid hefty greens fees.

Because many of his friends presumed the game was an imported sport, Weng decided to establish the Chinese Taipei Woodball Association in 1993 and began seriously promoting the game internationally.

The sport has since been introduced to more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The Olympic Council of Asia officially recognized woodball as a sport in 1999.

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