Fair Play: The sad case of Joy and Mary

POLITICIANS who fight for sports development are a good thing.

Politicians who bring their fighting in sports are not.

The mess that Joy Young and Mary Ann delos Santos are in is not only comical, but also disappointing.

Sports needs all the support it can get and though politicians and sports are generally a bad mix, those who could really contribute, are welcome.

It’s easy to spot those who want to appear to love sports to voters. Just look at who’s suddenly bitten by the sports bug.

But politicians who could really help sports—yes, they are not extinct—are more than welcome.

Mary Ann and Joy could be two of them.

Mary Ann joins road races and as a participant knows what organizers are doing right or wrong. Joy has been with the Cebu City Olympics even before I got my press card, and knows what participants—especially student athletes—need.

Since both sit in opposite ends—participant and organizer, and if elected, as representative and vice-mayor—they could really complement each other in sports.

If those involved in this mess were others, not the two, it wouldn’t be a surprise. That it was them, makes it disappointing.

If Joy and Mary could get messy over such a trivial matter—there are damn too many basketball boards already—can they still work together for sports development?

Or will it be like Mandaue for them?

The top Mandaue City officials and their minions, it seems, are so busy hurling crap at each other, they’ve overlooked the good things in their city.

Things like the MLSDF Canduman Elementary school football program.

The program survives despite the lack of government support, but it could do well with it. I’d even say it has the potential to be one of the best in the country.

When it started, the consultant coach asked me to attend even just one of the kids’ practices to see how the players survive the odds.

“Luoy kaayo ang mga players,” he said.

He told me of how the players make do with the only available patch of grass in Canduman and how they compete with the grazing animals in the open field.

Last week, I finally got to see it. And, just like what the coach said, the kids’ situation is really woeful.

Their practice ground can even be likened to Fortuna, Cortes and the rest of the City Council.

You can’t see half of it because it’s covered in water, trash and what-have-you. (I have yet to check, though, whether that submerged half is for sale). The other fourth is doing nothing and has been overcome by weeds and shrubs.

And worse, the only useable area has an identity crisis; it doesn’t know whether it is a football pitch or a basketball court.

And, yes, they are all full of shit, literally.

And like in the Mandaue City Council, you have to get past all that crap, to spot the workable areas.

But that is the story of CES. It beat the odds.

Just five years after the program was launched, the Canduman boys, as they are now called, already own a growing trophy case, while the first batch won a silver medal in the Cviraa last year.

I hope Mandaue City’s officials will take a break from their primary duty of finding dirt and check the situation of the Canduman boys. A little help for Mandaue’s youth will go a long way.

But if they want to look for shit they can hurl at each other, they can do that there, too. At least they’d save the boys the trouble of covering up all that crap before they practice.

We’ve learned from Manny Pacquiao’s fights how sports can unite a country.

Politicians fight each other, it’s in their nature. I just hope they can work together for sports. There’s too much political fighting in sports already without them adding to it.

Or is that, wishful thinking?


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