Featured Participant: Po-Chun LiuBy Brian Canever September 11, 2018
Life is not easy for girls and women in Asia. I want girls and women to get empowered—to become strong and willing to pursue their own happiness. I want them to live better lives. And I know sports can make a difference because that is what happened to me. The GSMP is an amazing program because I feel I’ve been empowered and encouraged to become a leader in this movement of changing lives. The program made me believe I can make a change. I have a large net and a new sisterhood. I know that I am not alone anymore.
From the moment she returned home to Taiwan from the 2017 GSMP: Empower Women through Sports program, Po-Chun Liu has been actively involved in growing and promoting women’s baseball—collecting several national and international accolades for her achievements along the way.
The country’s first female baseball umpire and an author of several books on the power of sport in people’s lives, Po-Chun spent her time on the GSMP with Susan Cohig, a multiple-time mentor and senior VP of business affairs and integrated marketing for the National Hockey League (NHL). Together, they developed “Move Forward Together,” a plan to strike out discrimination of teenage and single mothers in Taiwan through education and exposure in the community.
Once home, Po-Chun began laying the groundwork for establishing a sports center in Taipei where she could host her various program, including a GSMP-inspired mentoring program for Taiwanese women (GSMP Taiwan). In the next year, Po-Chun hopes to receive the approval and support of the Taipei City Government, and raise the required funds to launch The Sports Center for Youth.
In addition to the center, Po-Chun has been busy working on several collaborative projects. These projects include a collaboration with city government and the Taiwan Women’s Baseball Association for a baseball or hockey camp in the city. Po-Chun is also planning a collaborative exchange program with fellow GSMP alumna Xinyi Hua of China. She plans to partner with Xinyi to demonstrate the potential for a positive working relationship between Chinese and Taiwanese leaders (coincidentally, Po-Chun and Xinyi were both recently named to the Forbes’ list of Most Powerful Women in International Sports, where Po-Chun was No. 19 and Xinyi No. 21.)
Po-Chun also continued writing. An author of five books about her experiences, she returned home and published her sixth book: The Interpreter: The Journey from a Student Psychic to Female Baseball Umpire. The book was named to the list of Taiwan’s most popular books for 2017, and Po-Chun was ranked No. 9 on the list of Top 10 Authors of the Year by Books Taiwan.
This summer Po-Chun has already had the opportunity to meet with important U.S. Government officials to discuss her Action Plan. The American Center in Taiwan chose Po-Chun as part of a select group of Taiwanese exchange alumni to receive a delegation, including Assistant Secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, for the dedication ceremony of the ACT’s new facilities. At the event, Po-Chun was given the opportunity to present about her time on the GSMP, as well as her Action Plan for empowering young women in Taiwan through baseball.
Soon after receiving the delegation, Po-Chun returned to the U.S. to serve as an umpire at her third WSBC Women’s Baseball World Cup, hosted in August in Port Viera, Florida. She also began a Ph.D. program in religious studies at National Chengchi University in Sept. 2018.
Impressively, Po-Chun has managed all of the above while maintaining a full-time position as a social worker for The Garden Hope Foundation, an NGO that serves women victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking. A woman of many talents who is tirelessly committed to the empowerment of girls and women in Taiwan, Po-Chun will continue to make important strides in 2018. You can follow along with her journey on the official Facebook page for the Taiwan Women’s Baseball Association.