Wexford star Lee Chin on the racism his father still faces

Hurler chats to Off The Ball about racism, ice hockey, hurling and his brief soccer career

Lee Chin, Wexford

Lee Chin ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Over the years, Wexford dual star Lee Chin has proven that he can thrive in any sport.

It's not just hurling and Gaelic football that he excels at.

At the end of the last League of Ireland season, he temporarily signed for then Premier Division soccer club Wexford Youths to try to help them in their battle against relegation.

Now, he's giving another sport a go as part of The Toughest Trade.

Last week, ex-NHL star Alex Auld spoke to Off The Ball about his experience of swapping ice hockey for hurling.

The man he is swapping sporting lives with is Chin who has temporarily dropped the sliothar in order to pick up the skills needed to manipulate an ice hockey puck.

The 24 year old joined Off The Ball and admitted in terms of skating on ice, he was a novice before The Toughest Trade, although he tried it out in Wexford before heading over to NHL side Vancouver Canucks.

Lee Chin with Wexford Youths

For Chin, the easiest part to acclimatise to was the work with the stick and puck.

He also spoke about his increasing diligence in his his No 1 sport hurling over the last few years, to iron out any issues in his game.

Much of that extra work, he does alone in a field.

"Sometimes I'd been in the field and doing certain things and I actually get butterflies afterwards and what I do for myself there is give myself more confidence that 'I can do this,'" he said, adding that he "doesn't leave any room for doubt anymore" in his preparation for duty.

Back in 2012 when he was 19, Chin first spoke about the unfortunate experiences of racism he has suffered, including discussing the matter alongside Jason Sherlock on the Late Late Show. But on the field at least, incidents of verbal racism in his direction have not occurred. 

"Ever since that, I haven't heard it on the field at all. I haven't really heard it since and I haven't really got that sort of abuse thrown at me to the extent that it had been beforehand," he explained.

A few years on and Chin explains that he now thinks about the issue in terms of the effect racism has on others on a wider scale. 

In the past, he explains that being on the end of racism would "strike a chord with me where I'd get a little bit more aggressive on the field" back then and that now he would take a different approach in reacting to it. 

He also spoke about whether things have changed markedly from the time his father first moved to Ireland almost three decades ago.

"My father would still be out having a few drinks and something could be said to him. He could just walk down the street and something could be said to him. And he'd often tell me about it - he's not the type of guy who sits there and takes it either - for a man like him, he's in his 50s now, it's not something he should be having to deal with everyday in this walk of life, especially for a man living in Wexford for so long," said Chin, who added that such abuse is "ignorant and rotten" and still frustrates him having to see his father being on the end of that. 

Chin also spoke about his brief time playing with Wexford Youths last season and also the first season for the Wexford hurlers under the management of Davy Fitzgerald.