Friday, December 21, 2012

Fair Play: Sports in the time of the 2 governors


THE Gov. Gwen Garcia Unity Volleyball Cup was launched to much hype in 2005, but now on its eighth year, is it losing its appeal?

Though it is a sports event, there were a lot of political undertones behind the tournament as it was the time when Cebu Province faced the threat of Sugbuak.  Hence the use of the word “unity” in a volleyball tournament.

Yes, make no mistake about it, the GUV Cup was a political stunt and I seem to remember hearing the word unity twice every time the word Sugbuak was mentioned in speeches.


But political stunt or not, the GUV Cup became one of the premier province-wide competitions in the country, leading the Philippine Volleyball Federation to hope that it be adopted in other provinces.  One of the reasons for that, of course, was Gov. Garcia, and it seemed in its early years, LGUs were afraid to skip the tournament, fearing the perceived wrath of the governor.

One time, I think, it became a big issue when only one LGU--was it Daanbantayan--skipped the tournament altogether.

Now that the threat of Sugbuak is gone, so it seems, is the appeal of the GUV Cup? Check the quarterfinal round, and the number of forfeitures that has happened. You go through all the trouble of the elimination round and then when you top the elims and make the next round, you don't bother to send your team?

What gives? You're not interested in participating further?

The Cebu volleyball community doesn't know how lucky they are that they have the GUV Cup.

I hope the two gubernatorial candidates will promise to retain the tournament because though it started as a political stunt, it has become the widely-participated tournament in Cebu and one that should be emulated for other sports as well.  Just imagine, a GUV Cup type event for basketball, football or badminton? Minus the political colors of course.

A lot of under-privileged kids too, are now enjoying athletic scholarships because they were discovered through the tournament. 

But it's time to rename it, though.  From the Gov. Gwen Garcia Unity Volleyball Cup to simply the Governor's Cup (not the Governors' Cup, mind you.)

That way, the tournament's future wouldn't be tied to whoever is sitting in Capitol. (And it seems, under the present situation, the name Governors' Cup would be apt.)

And of course, call it simply the women's and men's or kids divisions, not the Gwen Kids, or Gwen Open men’s.  Jeez, there's no need to use the name of the governor every single time, isn't it?

By the way, I wonder what the impact would be having two governors in the preparation of Cebu Province’s athletes who will be part of Region 7’s delegation for the Palarong Pambansa.

I was hoping that this year, Cebu could host the games again and it’s a good thing Dumaguete City won it, imagine what a nightmare it would be fort the organizers if both lady governors insist on attending it?

In Philippine sports, whenever there are two persons claiming to be the rightful head—which is often the case—it usually means progress goes down the drain.

Remember BAP vs. SBP and how their infighting got the Philippines suspended from international basketball?

So, it’s going to be an interesting time ahead for Cebu politics in the next six months, and sadly, sports will be one of the collateral damage.

Your move, governors!

(www.mikelimpag@gmail.com)

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