Members of the national rugby squad, the Philippine Volcanoes, held a rugby clinic inside the mall to introduce the sport to everyday Pinoys.
RUGBY isn’t a mainstream sport here in the Philippines unlike basketball, volleyball, and football. It needs all the exposure it can get to spread the popularity of the sport.
Last Sunday, mall-goers got a quick look at the sport of rugby after the Philippine Volcanoes and Globe worked hand-in-hand to put up a free clinic for kids, the Globe Volcanoes Junior Rugby Clinic, at the Active Zone in Ayala Center Cebu.
“The No. 1 purpose is to promote the Philippine Volcanoes. It is also to promote rugby as a sport and to search for grassroots players,” said organizer and Cebu Lady Dragons manager Maggie Royo.
The Philippine Volcanoes is the national team for rugby.
The kids underwent beginners’ basic rugby drills from rugby players headed by Cebuana Lady Volcanoes Marie Antonette Gambito and Hayes Monica Bolofer. The two women’s national team members were assisted by Boys Under-19 development team players Glenn Regner, Khrislord Balbuena, Edison Ablanque and Martin Ablanque; and Boys Under-17 national team players Francis Pasayloon and Kimwell Dela Cruz.
“This is the first time that I have handled a clinic inside a mall. We usually have it in schools and in schools there are always kids. Here, we didn’t know what to expect, if there were kids who will show up. We didn’t expect that a lot stayed and joined the rugby clinic,” said Royo.
It was a different experience for Royo and his team because aside from holding the clinic inside the mall, they also had to work with a small area.
However, Royo, who usually holds rugby clinics in schools, wants to host another clinic inside the mall.
“I want to do this again,” said Royo.
Gambito and Bolofer will join the rest of the Lady Volcanoes to compete in the Southeast Asian Games on Aug. 19 and 20 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on June 19, 2017.
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