Monday, July 27, 2015

Fair Play: A worthy act to follow

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's July 27 edition)
LAST year, when the school was involved in one of the biggest sports controversies in Cebu, I had a talk with SHS-Ateneo de Cebu athletic director Rico Navarro, on how their school officials were treating the controversy.

Remember the incident involving a parent in a youth football game? That was it.


Rico said that aside from urging students to stop adding to the nasty exchanges via social media, they were encouraged to find way to learn something from the incident.

“It’s how the Jesuits think,” Rico told me.

Learn from it.

Now, there’s another “learn from it” story and no this doesn’t involve a controversy. It’s something that I hope will be copied not just by coaches from SHS-Ateneo de Cebu but by all coaches from Cebu private schools.

It’s about Eagles coach Rommel Rasmo answering the call of the Cebu City Sports Commission to share what they know to coaches, teachers and athletes from the public schools.

A perfect “learn from it” moment.

“I’d like to extend my willingness to help the program of CCSC to train public schools....coaches, players are welcome to attend our practices anytime. Even during our Cesafi games, they can observe our huddles so they can learn how we handle situations,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

It’s a commendable move, one the Ateneo community should be proud of. It’s something that hasn’t been done before.

And I hope the public coaches answer the call, too, considering the quality and caliber of the Eagles training, they will sure pick up a lot of tricks.

And being contenders not only in the Cesafi games but in almost all tournaments they join--local or national--public school coaches and teachers can experience situations they rarely experience. How to protect a lead in the dying seconds, how to come up with that final shot in the final play? How to adjust the defense?

It’s like getting a free masters course on a silver platter handed to you by express delivery (redundancy intended). All you have to do is accept it.

Some coaches tend to be overly protective of their training practices, that some tend to think they are God’s gifts to local sports and they are protecting state secrets.

Fortunately, that’s not the way coach Rasmo thinks.

If you really analyze this move, in the long run, sharing his secrets will benefit the Ateneo de Cebu Eagles themselves.

Look at it this way, if one team dominates a tournament regularly, who learns in the long run—the team that keeps winning or the team that keeps losing?

If by sharing what he learns, Erasmo will raise the quality of the public school teams and the competition, then the next time the Eagles face public school teams, they’d have to do more than the usual to win.

Of course, that won’t happen overnight or even four years from now. But this is a positive development that can only lead to good things in Cebu sports.

Cebu sports is just one small community, Erasmo’s move will make it closer.

Learn from us. He is telling the public school coaches and teachers.

I hope the other private school coaches are paying attention and learn from it.

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