Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fair Play: A super intervention

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 11 issue)
ORGANIZERS of the Sinulog Football Cup said their event faced the threat of a phaseout due to lack of funds, but thanks to a chance remark, they now have a sponsor and better yet, there's a new player in the Cebu football scene.

After the Sinulog Foundation decided to phase out some of their events in their calendar, the Sinulog Cup was left with eager clubs and players, a spot in the calendar and a venue, but with no money to fund it.

But in a meeting between Cebu Football Association president Ricky Dakay and officers of Super Metro, the football event was briefly discussed, and a British consultant (of course, it has to be a British expat) of the Cebu-based firm gave the go signal for the firm to support the Sinulog Cup.

Thanks to that, all 168 teams of the Sinulog Cup can now look forward to the first football festival of the year, which will be hosted by the San Roque Parish football club and the Aboitiz Football club.

Raffy Musni, just like the rest of the CFA Board members, said he hopes this would be the first of Super Metro's long alliance and support for the local football scene.  Who knows, later this year or by summer when there are no competing football festivals, the company will be so pleased with their initial involvement that it might decide to fund one major project and there is none more worthwhile than perhaps doing what hardcore fans drool about but that has not been done.

What is that? A tournament pitting the collegiate champions of Bacolod, Davao, Manila, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Cagayan and of course, Cebu.  I believe Super Metro has branches in each place? It's a matter of one branch adopting their "home team."

Now that, would be a super intervention.

CEBU MARATHON. Tomorrow, thousands of weekend warriors will end months of training, hardwork and sacrifice as they set out for their personal goals and targets in the first major run in the country this year.

I covered the event when it was first launched seven years ago--as the Sinulog 21K--and it has grown by leaps and bounds.

One distinct advantage the Cebu Marathon has over the other events, not only in Cebu and I'm not talking about just running events, is the people behind it--the Cebu Executive Runners Club. The Cebu Marathon is every runners' run made fun by runners.

When it was launched, it was one of a few 21Ks in Cebu City, and when it went the whole distance in 2010--it started the numbers trend when organizers  used the date "01-10-10" to promote their event. 

The first 21K was also that time when the lass from Zamboanga, Mary Grace delos Santos, began to stamp her mark in the Cebu running scene, starting a dominant run that I don't think has since been surpassed.

That time, delos Santos was so unbeatable that her signing up her entry form for any running event in Cebu was as good as her getting the champion's purse.

Now a mainstay of the national team, delos Santos has since been upstage by Cebuana Mary Joy Tabal, who set the Milo marathon record just last year.  This year, Joy will be joining the 21K, but I hope someday, she will get to join the full marathon and win it.

From 2010 to 2013, members of the CERC have said goodbyes their to personal and family time in the weeks leading to the marathon as they had to be hands on in the preparation for the event.  Now, they get to breathe a little bit easier as Rio de la Cruz's company has taken over the technical side.

I'm just glad though that even if the CERC isn't involved in everything, they are still in charge of what has become the signature of the Cebu Marathon--the lively water stations that are anything but just a water station.

So to the thousands of runners who will be joining the Cebu Marathon, good luck and remember, when in doubt, just enjoy the run.


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