THE Umayan siblings, Samantha and Gabriel John, may have failed to land in the top three of the National Age-Group Chess Championships in Cebu that deprived them of free slots to the 18th Asean Age-Group Chess Championships 2017 in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia but they competed there just the same and surprised everbody else for collecting several medals.
Thanks to their father Vincent, a United States Chess Federation (USCF) national master Dabawenyo Vincent who funded their trip to Malaysia so they can experience playing in an international competition.
Their mother Minda, who accompanied them to Malaysia, in interview on the sidelines of the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum held at the NCCC Mall B3 Family Room yesterday, said the children's feats all came as a surprise.
"Ang purpose namin pumunta doon para maka experience lang sila mag compete sa international events and wala kaming inexpect na iba," Minda said.
Samantha ended up with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze while Gabriel brought home two golds and one bronze.
They both said their parents' sacrifices inspired and motivated them.
"Ginalingan po namin kasi di po madaling maghanap ng malaking pera para po makasali kami sa international events," Samantha said.
Aside from the financial support, their father also train them via online.
"Kahit pagod na sya galing work, tinuturuan parin nya kami," 11-year-old Samantha added.
Samantha, a Grade six student of Buhangin Elementary School, is offered a full scholarship at the Jose Maria College after she graduates from elementary.
Gabriel, 12, is a Grade 7 student at Holy Cross of Davao College.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on December 07, 2017.
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