DAVAO sports had been colorful, united and relatively successful in 2009 as it has been the past years.
We cannot be successful and productive without the guidance and support of, first and foremost, the parents, the city government, the private sector, sports leaders, events organizers, the athletes themselves and the general public.
Such far reaching notion in sports is captured in this sincere and beautiful text message by long time swimming and diving coach and trainer Deedee Gonzales, Davao Region president of the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association, thus, "The greater blessing in our lives is simply the presence of people who care so much, whose Love is real and who see us beyond ourselves. Happy New Year."
My response, "God bless Davao City, the Philippines, Coach Deede Gonzalez and I" for the year 2010 and beyond.
Help me congratulate also the unheralded but equally talented and athletic students of the Sunday School. The tandem of Emar Learning Center president Ma. Lita Montalban and DepEd Region 11 Director Susana Estigoy with the help of their people had just staged one of the most successful year-end sports events in a DCAA-like Sunday High School Festival of Sports and Talents. Now the yayas and their wards can compare notes and consult each other on how to take in stride agonizing defeats and of sharing winning moments.
Speaking of parents support, nothing could be more apparent and active than the Ateneo guardians, everywhere from Davao to Manila.
Not those parents of other schools are lacking in paternal or maternal support. It is just that the more affluent parents of the well-appointed, modern school in Davao have more time inspiring their children with their presence compared to those who give it more focus making both ends meet.
This brings us to the next topic. That is, not all students of Ateneo de Davao University are well-to-do and can afford the very expensive school fees the reason why, I know that the Jesuit-run university is granting academic scholarships more than what they can give or have not given at all to those who don their established name in the field of sports.
For so long a time, university officials are leaving it all to Ateneo parents the material and financial burdens of maintaining their teams in such student-popular sports as basketball, volleyball and football.
AdMU OR AdDU, there's really not much difference in terms of parental inspiration and support except that those in Manila are lavish with the standard academic and material support in terms of scholarships, free tuition fees, allowances and other privileges accorded the athletes who carry the names of their respective teams for advertising mileage and public recognition.
Even smaller and relatively new educational institutions in Davao have been compassionately providing both academic and athletic recognition through scholarships to the less privilege but talented students.
Sports in Davao has not been that frantically ambitious as to getting the first gold in the Olympics except to be just contented having good grades, good health and long life through sports. But we do not preclude another great miracle from the Lord as awesome as Manny Pacquiao.
We are not even asking for preferential attention knowing that government has priorities for the greater good of the greater populace more useful than expensive basketball courts.
Over the weekend, Alung of Cogon High School, my protege and that of coach Iko Villano of football, who years ago had refused athletic scholarship from UM for fear of being away from his mama, was driving me proud with his new motorcycle from New Valencia down to Magtuod in Maa.
He was expectant like his fellow residents in the third district, recipient of what could be the biggest economic benefit, most useful, longest road project ever undertaken by a LGU.
Alung, the midfielder, and the people in the area stretching from Maa in the first district to Los Amigos and Talandang to Calinan in the third are full of hope and proud of the current project with their names all depicted in every signpost in these: "This is a project of the City Government of Davao."