Monday, August 19, 2013

Fair Play: A salute to the multi-sport athletes

I HOPE DepED official Danilo Villadolid reconsiders their plan not to allow athletes to compete in different events in the Milo Little Olympics national finals.

You can join more than one event only but if it’s in the same sport—say, the 200 and 100-meter in athletics. But Doc Danny is discouraging those who join different events, like athletics and basketball, as in the case of Joseph Berdin, a basketball player who won the first gold medal for USC in shot put.

I understand where Doc Danny is coming from and he only wants to protect the Visayas delegation--what if guys like Berdin qualify for the national finals in two events and the schedules clash? He has to choose one.

For me, I admire athletes like Berdin and I hope they get to test their skills in a sport they’ve just picked up against the best of the country, to know where they stand. Guys like them deserve to be the poster boy of school sports in Cebu.

As a high school athlete, it was normal for us to join more events. Though it was academics and athletics for me, for the rest of the guys, it was football and tennis or basketball. I remember when our goalkeeper got injured, we recruited the basketball team’s point guard as replacement. Another school did the extreme, fielding the same core group in football, volleyball, basketball and baseball. During clash of schedules, we just waited for them to finish.

That’s why when I became a sportswriter in Cebu, I was surprised that guys joining multi events in competitions were rare.

But do you know who started the move?

The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s track team, led by coach Precing Capampangan. SHS-AdC athletic director Rico Navarro once told me that when the school decided to put up a track and field team a few years back, Precing invited basketball and football players because these guys already had the fundamentals—they jump, run, and throw regularly in their games.

Rico’s son, Popoy is a perfect example. I used to cover him in football events when he was younger, now, he’s also with the basketball and the track teams.

And one time he told me, one of the walk-ons in those track and field tryouts is now enjoying a full scholarship in the University of the Philippines Diliman, and it all happened because she tried out for a new sport.

That’s why I really hope Doc Danny will reconsider his move.

We need to encourage these athletes who try new sports, not hinder them.

Who knows? Guys like Berdin may not excel in basketball but make their mark in athletics?

And when other kids and coaches learn that, we’re going to see an explosion of track and field squads, manned by athletes who are already active in other sports.

Anybody can run, jump or throw. It’s quite a surprise that only USC-BED and SHS-AdC have caught on to that.

CHASING A BMW.  Here’s an update from Doc. Yong Larrazabal for their University Run, which already has 3,300 entries.
"Aside from CDU students, we have numerous registrants from Visayas and Mindanao. The different CDU Colleges have also been assigned their respective water stations and are ready for the best water station contest. Aside from giving Pocari and Julie’s snacks at the finish line to the 13K and 25K runners, we will be offering a Red Bull Station for our 25K runners and Power Bar station for both categories. For the first time in Cebu running history, a BMW X1 will be our lead car, with a race clock mounted on top."

Just in case you’re delirious, please note that the BMW X1 will be the lead car, not the top raffle item.

A run like the UR8 really sets itself apart because the whole CDU community gets involved. Makes you wonder what they are going to do next year to top this year’s event?

See you on Aug. 25! I’m chasing that BMW X1……for the first 500 meters.

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