Defying limits-A A +A
Saturday, September 14, 2013
EXCELLING in a particular field is not all about skills but also atitude. Indeed, this can attest to Smith Billy Cartera who may be confined to his wheelchair forever but was not limited to fulfilling his goals and dreams in life.
Billy's double gold victories in the National Paralympic Games in Laguna in March secured him a slot to the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games-bound Team Philippines in Myanmar late this year.
He placed third in the class B category of the Mayor Rody and Vice Mayor Pulong Kadayawan Table Tennis Tournament abled-bodies from the cities of General Santos, Naga, and Cebu.
"Maski ingun-ani ra mi, daghan gihapon mig mabuhat ug naa pa miy capacity to win (We are like this but we can still do more things and we have capacity to win),"Billy told Sun.Star Davao in an interview.
He said his victory is not only for himself but also for other differently-abled persons so they, too, can hope and achieve their goals.
He added, "I would like to encourage them to engage in any productive activity."
He said that being crippled is not the end of everything but a start of having a more well-meaning existence.
It was not a smooth journey for him though. His life changed, as well as his group of friends and interests.
"It all started when I joined a therapy session iatOur Lady of Victory Training Center that I started to find myself loving the action of sports," Cartera said.
His courage and determination opened new opportunities for him.
The training center provided him the arena to accept his condition which was caused by the growth of a tumor in his spines during his third year in High School. He then joined the national basketball team of (Philspada) to represent the country in the SEA Paragames in 2005 but later realized the team sport was not for him.
He learned the ropes of table tennis and fell in love with it. Since then, he has been reaping titles in a handful of city tournaments in 2006.
In 2008, the 35-five year old Billy donned the Philippine flag in the Thailand SEA Paralympic Games where he salvaged three bronzes for double, teams and mixed double divisions.
A year after, he became the first para-athlete, together with his team to garner the first silver medal and two bronze for the country in the Malaysia SEA Paralympic Games.
"Until now, nobody had brought such recognition to the country,"he shared.
He was also recognized by the city government of Davao in 2012 and 2013 as among top athletes who competed in national and international tournaments.
He is undergoing training at Spin Davao Sports Center.
In closing he said, "Attitude is better than skills. Skills is worthless if attitude is neglected."
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 15, 2013.