Fair Play: New volleyball NSA should reach out to rest of the country

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 31 edition)
THE Philippine Volleyball Federation is gone and the final kick was made by its parent organization, the FIVB, which has recognized the newly organized Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas as the official national sport association of the Philippines..

I hope that ends the intramurals in Manila in the volleyball scene, because that’s what ails most of the national sports association that are wrecked by factions—groups in Manila fighting over each other on who should have hold control over a sport in the country.

I don’t really care which group gets recognized—the old PVF or the new LVP—-as long as it acknowledges that the scope of volleyball in the country isn’t limited to the national capital region.

Quick, ask yourself this. In the history of volleyball in the country, which group was
able to organize the most participated, most-LGU supported tournament? PVF?

No. It was Cebu and the Gov. Gwen Garcia Unity Cup, which ran for eight years. It only ended because it was named after the former governor.

And where is Cebu in the new volleyball setup? Like the rest of the country, it’s ignored. Based on news reports, the board members of the new NSA are from the POC, and representatives of the NCAA, UAAP, Shakey’s V-League and the UAAP—all Manila-based.

There’s no slot for the Cebu Volleyball Association, the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), or even the school leagues of Davao, Bacolod, Cagayan or the other cities. It’s all Manila. I think, if there were non-Tagalog representatives, the name of the group wouldn’t be Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas.

So, here we are, we have a new group and what should the new group do?

Reach out to the province. Get in touch with the other stakeholders who were left in the outside looking in while they were going at each other’s throats to get the recognition from the international body.

Cebu has never really needed any recognition from the national body and support from the PVF was and is non-existent. But despite that, the Cebu Volleyball Association was able to organize the GUV Cup, thanks to Cebu Province, while Cebu teams from the Cesafi and the public schools dominated the Milo tournamenets and the beach volleyball tournaments.

Why? Because volleyball is strong in Cebu, despite the absence of support.

Imagine how stronger it would be with the right support from the right body?

The LVP got what it wants from the international body—recognition and legitimacy—but, to succeed, it must not just court the FIVB, it must also court what it was created for, the volleyball stakeholders all over the country.

Unless, of course, the new group thinks Pilipinas only covers the area within Manila, and if that’s the case, the new group will be doomed. Sure, it may be the group recognized by the POC or PSC, but when did recognition become the barometer for a sport’s success?

As for the old PVF, which was relying on FIVB recognition in continuing the fight, I hope they’d give it up.

Fighting the FIVB recognition could only lead to the suspension of the Philippines from international play. Sure, they can throw a monkey wrench in the whole process by courting disgruntled associations from the provinces who were left out in the cold in the formation of the new body, but I hope these groups won’t bite at the obvious desperate move.

If the PVF really valued them, they would have contacted them long before this.

The PVF is dead. The fight is over. Now, LVP should get to work.


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