Lecain bares vision for Cebu beach volleyball-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
AS the Fort beach volley sand court in Fort San Pedro construction is nearing completion, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) beach volleyball consultant Eric Lecain bared his master plan for the development of the sport in Cebu City with the help of the Cebu City Sports Commission.
Lecain said that PSC chairman Richie Garcia asked him to develop the sport in the Visayas, and Cebu City was their choice because it has the largest number of players in the country.
However, the lack of sand courts was a problem.
“One of the most important parts to getting this program rolling was to find a beach court that was easily accessible. So I came up with the idea of building a court right in the middle of Cebu City. After a lengthy negotiation, Mayor Mike Rama signed a five-year agreement with PSC to loan a piece of land in one of the most popular and historical parks in the city—Fort San Pedro. And I am very excited because it’s almost done,” Lecain said.
First on the list of his program is to start beach volleyball classes for the out-of-school youth, especially those who live near Fort San Pedro.
“I have talked with the people of Cebu City and asked if we could start beach volleyball classes for the children. They said I could easily get 300 to 500 kids especially since most of the kids from this area play dayun-dayun. The idea is to introduce the game to children in this area and maybe, along the way, use it to help them find their way back into school,” Lecain said.
He added that he got the idea after he spent time in the area and the first thing that he noticed was there were a lot of children running in the streets.
“Most of these children are out-of-school youth, so they just hang around in the streets all day, playing betting games, asking for coins and just surviving,” Lecain said.
Lecain also hopes to bring the game to the public schools, which he noted lack the proper facilities.
“Most of the schools have very limited means and even just finding a ball can be difficult. The plan is to start inducing the sport by hosting weekly clinics and tournaments for elementary and high school children. I have been working on a plan with the DepEd and the CCSC, and they would like to have as many as 30 schools, each with 50 to 100 players, take part in the program,” Lecain said.
Lecain also want to give former beach volleyball players more opportunities.
“In the US, when you finish college, there are so many opportunities to continue playing but after college in the Philippines, there is virtually nothing left for players to do. Some of these players were huge college stars but after their playing years, they just disappeared,” Lecain said.
Lecain said he is working on a personal project named “Invisible Athletes Program,” which he tried with the Cebu beach volleyball teams during the Philippine National Games. He was one of those who helped form the Cebu team that defeated the members of the national team.
“When the Cebu court is completed, I would like to continue the program, to give these players some new goals in life, something to look forward to. I believe by having them participate in clinics, both as players and teachers, and having Cebu host the new national training center, it would help steer their lives into a new direction and give them an outlet to discover their true potential,” Lecain said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 23, 2012.