Thursday, April 04, 2013

Fair Play: How will you spend your summer break?

SCHOOL’s out for most students, and after eight months cocooned in the campus, staring at PCs--whether for research or whatever--it would be a pity if you spend the next eight weeks doing the same.

Get out, sweat it out. Pick a new skill out there in the real world, not online.

Parents who have kids in the early teens, or younger, summer is the perfect time for them to learn a new sport. There are various clinics out there, let them have their pick.

I’ve seen some parents look with envy at other kids who get athletic scholarships in college, saving their parents hundreds of thousands of pesos while earning a five-year degree, and often, they always say, “I wish my kid was athletic.”

Here’s a newflash for you. These kids didn’t become athletes overnight. I’ve often talked with kids like these in interviews in the past and I’ve noticed they all follow a common path--after picking up an interest in a sport, they all got serious after joining a summer clinic.

How did they develop that interest? For sure it wasn’t from playing video games, posting their latest meals online, or fawning over their latest favorite movies. It was from reading about sports, and sometimes watching them.

And if you want your kid to develop an interest in tennis, the best way to do it just got delivered to you right at your doorstep--the Davis Cup Group 2 tie between Thailand and the Philippines and the Tru Flex age group series. One tournament features hundreds of kids who dream of being in the other tournament.

About 98 percent of them will not make it to the national team, but close to 100 percent of them will get that scholarship.

There’s the AFC President’s Cup and various football clinics, too, for those who want to join the latest craze, or the Milo Best for those with hoops dreams. If your kid isn’t that athletic, well, there are the various chess clinics, and mind you, most schools also have athletic scholarships for chess.

A few weeks ago, scores of athletes walked that stage during graduation, capping years of hard work on and off the field. I know some of them wouldn’t have gotten that degree if not for that scholarship. But they did because at one point in their lives, they all decided that summer was bent spent out there in the field.

So, how do you want to spend your summer?

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