Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fair Play: Cebu taekwondo hits another milestone

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 16 issue)
I HOPE someone from other sports will take a good look at the taekwondo program of Cebu and copy all the good things that they are doing.

Why? Take a look at what’s been happening. After producing world champions in the past few years, Cebu City’s taekwondo team have sent eight Cebuanos to the national team after the latest national championships.



Eight! That’s a remarkable number. When I was still covering the taekwondo beat in early 2000s, having one Cebuano in the national team was a cause for celebration.

That’s what happened when Michael Realista, now a coach of Team Cebu City, made the cut.

Now, it seems, the standards of Team Cebu City are so high that trying out for the team is just like trying out for the national team.

How did that happen? In short, if you ask taekwondo godfather Tony del Prado, who along with CCSC chairman Ed Hayco is one of the select few who truly deserve that “godfather” tag, it’s all about getting the right people to run their thing.

Right people. Right thing. No politics, no favoritism, no “let’s include him because his/her dad is my drinking buddy.”

And what do you get? A program that is enviable, one that regularly sends its products to the national team.

And lest you forget. Those who excel in Team Cebu City not only get called up for national duty but gets recrutied too for scholarships in Manila schools. For me, a scholarship, not that medal, is the ultimate reward for a student athlete.

Take a bow, Team Cebu City taekwondo and continue the good things you are doing.

PAC vs. FLOYD. Is the ride that is the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight negotiations over? Are they finally going to fight? Boxing sites yesterday broke the story of how Manny Pacquiao has reportedly agreed to the bout the boxing world has waited for six years.

The UK Telegraph was one of those who broke the story and says the fight would be worth $250 million and would be announced in the next few days.

Those in the know, too, have long hinted at an imminent announcement.

As for me, well, I won’t make any plans yet as I’ve long learned that in this Pacquiao vs. Mayweather drama, the only thing concrete is that nothing’s final as long as all these “they-are-finally-going-to-fight” are played out in the media.

No contract, no fight, and if the two are finally going to fight, just get it over with and announce the damn thing,

Of course, like everyone else, I want to see the fight and I have long dreamed of Manny Pacquiao ending the unbeaten run of Floyd Mayweather. Wouldn’t that be something?

Should the fight push through, of course, we all expect Manny to be in tip top shape and to get there, he has to get rid of all his distractions to focus on training, which begs another question.

Is his job in congress just a distraction, just like his coaching stint in Kia carnival?

So, what will the house do when its top absentee lawmaker begins to miss more sessions to train for his main job?

Praise him some more?

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