Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fair Play: What CCSC learned from the Japanese team

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's March 13 issue) 
THE coach of the Japanese beach volleyball team was searching online for an alternative training venue and after a few clicks, connected with Eric LeCain, the beach volleyball consultant of the Philippine Sports Commission who’s made Cebu his home for the past few years.

And just like that, Sayaka Mizoe and Taekimi Nishibori, together with their coach Yoshihiro Atsumi found themselves training in a sandcourt in the middle of the city, for their second training stint outside of Japan. That stint, I believe, will bring more foriegner beach volleyball players here as the three were elated over their two-week stint here and promised to spread the word.

They found Cebu online and believe me, they’re going to spread the news about the Cebu beach volleyball scene online. How many of us has decided to go where others went because we saw pictures, or read stories of our friends’ experience there online? And, consequently, how many of us have decided to skip places because of negative posts?

The Japanese team competes in a world tour with many stops, the boost to Cebu even if they’d just have one conversation in each stop about their stint here would be enormous. That’s something no paid ad can duplicate.

But aside from the boost to sports tourism, it is what the Cebu City Sports Commission learned from observing their stint that is priceless.

The CCSC summed it up in their online page: “In Japan, the athlete pay and beg their coach to train them, here, our coach beg athletes to come to practice.”

People sometimes not about the size disadvantage of Filipinos in the international sporting scene but it’s not about the size, it’s about attitude, Just check the numerous stories of pint-sized athletes winning internationally.

In short, it’s the attitude, not built that leads to success.

Valuable lessons for a group that is searching for the next Olympian among the thousands of kids in all the areas—the slums included—in Cebu.

They need not look for the tallest or biggest kids among them, but those with the right attitude.

And of course, those who not only dream big, but actually act to start realizing their dreams.

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