Sophiyah Liu (劉柏君), Taiwan’s first female baseball umpire, is to receive a special commendation at the Sports Elite Awards next month for her dedication to achieving gender equality in sports, the Sports Administration said.
Liu, 43, “has dedicated herself to issues related to sports diplomacy and gender equality in sports. Aside from publishing the Woman in Sports magazine, she has been raising funds to help female teenage athletes from underprivileged families obtain comfortable sports underwear,” the agency said in a statement.
Liu has advocated for gender equality in speeches on school campuses and in public, it said, adding that she hosted a workshop to teach child and teenage athletes about the importance of maintaining physical boundaries and protecting themselves.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Liu became Taiwan’s first baseball umpire when she was 27.
She told the Chinese-language Commonwealth Parenting Magazine in April that her bid to join the baseball varsity team in her junior-high school was rejected simply because she was a girl.
Because of her reported ability to communicate with spirits, Liu worked as a medium at a temple during high school. Her experience inspired the HBO Asia TV series The Teenage Psychic.
While studying at the National Taipei University, she began working as a volunteer at baseball games.
She said she majored in social work at university, because “a spirit medium and a social worker both exist to help people.”
Liu, who experienced domestic violence, worked at the Garden of Hope Foundation to help women and children experiencing domestic abuse to find jobs and resources.
She established the Taiwan Sport Forward Foundation, which helps student athletes in rural areas by providing tutoring, paying for their after-school study programs or offering financial aid.
Liu said that the foundation is a combination of her love of baseball and her experience as a social worker.
Liu was selected to participate in the Global Sports Mentoring Program in 2017 and was chosen by Forbes magazine in 2018 as one of the 25 most powerful women in international sports.
Liu converted to Islam in her 20s, and has said that reading the Koran “makes her calm” and “has changed her life.”
Meanwhile, former Republic of China Sports Federation chairman Chang Chao-kuo (張朝國) is to receive a lifetime achievement award in sports for his contribution to the development of weightlifting in Taiwan at all levels of education.
“Taiwanese weightlifters won four gold medals, two silvers and four bronzes over six Olympic Games. Chang definitely deserves credit for such an extraordinary achievement,” the Sports Administration said.
The agency is to announce the winners of the Best Female Athlete, Best Male Athlete, Best Coach, Best Sports Team, Best Rookie and Best Sports Spirit Awards in a ceremony on Dec. 9, it added.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
The building of a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) plant in Phoenix, Arizona, is expected to lead to the creation of a “Little Taipei” over the coming year, as TSMC employees and related companies move in, a Phoenix-based real-estate agent has said. TSMC is investing US$12 billion to build a wafer plant in northern Phoenix that is scheduled to begin mass production in 2024. The company on Tuesday held a “tool-in” ceremony to mark the installation of the first batch of equipment at the fab. Some TSMC employees have moved into newly constructed apartments in a community 10 minutes’ drive from the
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
The US Navy could use experimental “lightning carriers” in a possible conflict with China over Taiwan, Business Insider reported on Wednesday. The lightning carrier concept involves using converted amphibious assault ships (LHAs) carrying Lockheed Martin F-35B “Lightning II” stealth jets. It was tested last summer by the US Navy and US Marines Corps using the America-class warship USS Tripoli. US Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, the commander of the US Navy 7th Fleet, in October said that the concept is part of efforts to increase the firepower of the fleet’s ships, Business Insider reported. Thomas made the remarks during an event hosted by think