Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fair Play: CCSC sets new target--archery

(This is my column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 26 issue. Sorry footie fans, I'm taking a footie break--ML)

I'VE always felt that archery, not boxing, would produce the country's first gold medal in the Olympic games but the only problem is, most of the archers we know are those playing basketball or those characters in online games.

Why archery?  It's simple.  Like shooting, we know our best athletes can make it to the Olympics and unlike boxing, you don't have to pray to the officials to get a favorable decision.  It's just you and the target.

A true test of skills.

Take the case of Jasmine Figueroa, who wasn't even in the top 100 in the world when she competed in  Athens 2004 but she booted out former world champion Natalia Valeeva, 130-132, in the first round.

But unlike boxing, which is one of the sports supported by the MVP foundation and has a massive grassroots program and a national tournament, archery is limited to the Palarong Pambansa.  There isn't much of a grassroots pool the national team can choose from.

However, that's about to change.

The Cebu City Sports Commission, headed by the hardworking Ed Hayco, has--pardon the pun-- archery as its next target.  Its next big project in a grassroots campaign that has so far netted a couple of Guinness World Record for the largest dance class and most-participated chess tournament.

The aim, of course, is to discover new talents and that has always been the specialty of Sir Ed, ever since he started his program for dancesports.

It's not about setting records, it's about discovering new talents and I always believe that if you cast your nets just wide enough, you'd bound to discover that talented kid who'd really excel if only he gets the chance.

And that's what the CCSC is oding, giving the kids a chance.

My only concern of course, in a project like this, is sustainability.

It's pretty much useless if, after getting discovered, our promising archers would be left without a tournament or a training program.

This is an election year and I hope whoever wins between Mike Rama and  Tomas Osmena, they'd retain Sir Ed as the CCSC chairman so the grassroots programs--not just the new one for archery--will continue.

THE OTHER ARCHERS.  Speaking of archers in the basketball arena, the De La Salle University Green Archers snagged a great find in Benoit Mbala, the 6'8" Cameroonian center from Southwestern University.

The only loser in this transaction is not SWU, since I’ve heard they have another foreign player in the wings, but SWU athletic director Ryan Aznar, who was left in the dark and was blind-sided.

The deal was hatched by Coach Yayoy Alcoseba and SWU chairman of the board of trustees Mariz Holopainen and didn’t involve Aznar.  This shows that when it comes to basketball matters, SWU trusts the coach more than its own athletic director, a poor payback to someone who’s gotten the school’s athletic program back in shape.

A little courtesy could have gone a long way.  Now, what does this do to the SWU basketball program?  It’s simple, this shows who really has the final say when it comes to SWU basketball and those hoping for Coach Yayoy to be reprimanded for his actions during the PCCL matches will be in for a disappointment.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN.  With Victoria Azarenka taking a 10-minute break in her finals against Sloane Stephens annoying the Aussie crowd, Li Na is expected to have the crowd behind her in today’s final.

Azarenka took a medical timeout at 5-3, and told the interviewer, ""Well, I almost did the choke of the year. At 5-3, having so many chances I couldn't close it out."

In the post-match press con, she said, ""I think I just really misunderstood what (the on-court interviewer) asked me because the question was I had few difficulties and why I went off.  I completely thought of a different thing, why I couldn't close out of match, you know, that I had few difficulties."

So there you have it, the defending champion won't have the crowd with her. 

Who will I be rooting for? I only support one blonde tennis player the way, anyway interested on buying a slightly used and defective crystal ball?

No comments: