Thursday, April 09, 2015

Fair Play: Lessons for kids from the May 2 mega-fight

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's April 7 edition)
WHILE talking with some parents about their preparation for the Palarong Pambansa, one dropped the all important question—are you ready for the fight?

He wasn’t talking, of course, of the coming battle against the top teams in the country in the biggest sporting meet for students.

He was talking about what most of us would be talking about come Palaro time--Manny Pacquaio vs. Floyd Mayweather. You see, the May 2 fight on Saturday night in the US, will be on Sunday morning, Philippine time, coinciding with the opening parade of the Palarong Pambansa. Which makes you wonder, will this year’s Palarong Pambansa open to a packed stadium or to an empty one with crickets in the background?



So, aside from arranging for houses, vans, coolers, refreshments and what-not, Atty. Delon Urot, whose kid will represent Central Visayas in the Palarong Pambansa, has also made the no. 1 arrangement for their trip in the Palaro.

“I’ve made sure that the house we will be staying will have pay-per-view for the fight,” he said in the sidelines of the SAC-SMB sports awards, where we were downing homages to the sponsor of the annual awarding of Cebu’s best athletes.

As for the kids and coaches, short of a mandatory attendance coupled with being physically hauled to the parade ground, they’d stay in, too.

Why? Because from the parents point of view, these young athletes can learn a lesson or two from the May 2 fight. From the perspective of the sure and undefeated champion whose confidence is almost overflowing, to the humble personality of the underdog kababayan, who doesn’t seem to run out of smiles amidst the dreariest of circumstances.

Of course, one of the most valuable lessons the kids can pick will come after the fight, when the winner is either announced by decision or his hand raised by the referee after a vicious KO.

How both the loser and the winner act—whether their actions should be emulated or not—will be valuable lessons to kids who are about to compete in the country’s grandest stage. Remain humble in victory? Accept a defeat graciously? Or whine like a politician who cried “I-got-cheated” until the listeners’ ears bleed?

Scenes like that are played and replayed throughout the Palarong Pambansa.

What better way to learn how to act after a match by watching the match of the century?

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