Monday, July 07, 2014

Fair Play: Why sharing is important

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's July 5 issue)
A FEW weeks ago, I learned of an unfortunate experience of a child who wanted to learn gymnastics.

Her mom took her to one of the clincis and really liked the sport. The problem was the coach was unprofessional and was always late, and the other parents and students made them feel so unwelcome that they didn’t return.

Mura’g ganahan sila nga sila ra’y kamao,” I was told.

It’s a stark contrast to what’s happening in the Cebu taekwondo community—and the proof of that positive relationship between coaches, students and parents are the growing number of students, numerous national awards and a couple of world champions.

When I heard of that story, I wasn’t surprised because over the years in covering multi-event meets, I learned personally and from other writers’ stories that when it comes to gymnastics, it’s not all smiles and grace.

I remember getting a call once from one irate parent and getting accused of all sorts of things.

Her beef? We published a photo of the other school’s gymnast, why not theirs? And she had a long memory. Accusing us of bias by saying that in the previous two
competitions, we always published the other school’s photo, and not of their team.

I told her the photogs choose which subjects to shoot, and which photos to submit.

That didn’t matter and she said, “No, you’re really biased! I even see your reporter talking to the other coach!”

I think I took a long look at my phone a couple of times in that call.

So, I wasn’t surprised when I heard the story of the gymnast-wannabe who got disappointed. Just as I am not surprised that while every now and then, we read about the national and international success of Team Cebu City taekwondo , we hear none about gymnastics.

If a community is unwilling to share its knowledge and unwilling to take in newcomers as if by teaching others, its gene pool will dilute, then success is elusive for them.

So, I hope that whatever the Cebu City Sports Commission does with the P500,000 gymnastics equipment from the PSC, limiting it to the gymnastics community won’t be one of it.

Share. Share and share.

Take a look at the football community and how it has grown. It is taking all sorts of newcomers and encouraging others to learn the sport.

If you have young girls who want to take up gymnastics, let them and welcome them. Don’t make them feel unwanted or look at them with disdain and think, “How dare you join us?”

How do you make gymnastics grow in Cebu? Expand the pool.

If a coach is unwilling to share his knowledge, preferring instead his or her posse, then get new coaches, one who shares the CCSC vision of sharing, sharing and sharing.
What would you prefer? A team of select and elite gymnasts or a community of coaches, parents, students and teachers spreading gymnastics?

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