Fair Play: CCSC comes up with another brilliant idea

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 9 edition)
SAVE for some who worship at the altar of political correctness, I think the latest project of the Cebu City Sports Commission is another brilliant move. Something that makes you ask, why did anyone not think of this before?

Because of Team Cebu City has problems in getting top swimmers for its squad--perhaps because of the rivalry of swim clubs again?--CCSC decided to look long term and mold its own swimmers.

And they recruited the Badjao children for their training pool.

CCSC tapped the Badjao kids from Alaska Mambaling--mostly eight-to-12-year-olds--who already spend most of their lives in the sea for their swimming program designed to send these kids to national meets in the future.

And because it's a program headed by Hayco—who gives emphasis to values more than medals—winning is not their ultimate goal.

The program is headed by Bernard Ricablanca and Rolando Alvarez, both of the University of Cebu, which means the school could take in the promising swimmers. Another win-win situation.

The school gets the top swimmers, the kids get a top-caliber education.

“We believe this can be a big help in identifying talents who can be trained to become top swimmers. However, our main goal is to transform the lives of the kids through sports, especially those from the impoverished area. Winning a medal is just a bonus,” said Hayco.

This is from the same CCSC chairman who told participants of the Aboitiz Cup to "learn to lose."

Simple ideas that change the way you look at sports.

Will the program work?

It depends on what you think is a succesful program is, but still, results from both viewpoints will only be seen years from now.

But I hope the program succeeds. I hope one of these kids will grow up to become a member of the Philippine squad, beating those kids who learn their swimming under exclusive and expensive programs, honed by expensive coaches.

And, I hope too, that through swimming, the kids get a degree through a scholarship and on their own, spread the love for sports.

I've seen that in football—former street kids who get a degree thanks to the sport are now helping under-privileged kids on their own.

Help one succeed, down the road, that help reaches others.

Time and again, I've said—perhaps showed biased too—that this sports commission is the best in the country. Why? Aside from coming up with programs like this, they never rest and always think of the next big thing.

Here's your cue, Cebu Province Sports Commission.


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