Young athletes form new running club

YOUTH REPRESENT. The members and founder John Velez (center) of Team Kuya Running Team, which is composed of students and youth runners, pose for a photo during the SM2SM Run 2020 in February. It was the last major running event in Cebu before public gatherings were banned due to the Covid-19 outbreak. (Contributed Photo)

YOUTH empowerment through sports is what Cebu’s newest running group, Team Kuya Running, wants to show as it promotes a healthy lifestyle to young individuals.

Despite being an individual sport, the group believes this endurance sport is more enjoyable when done by a group. With that in mind, the runners at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) formed a new team that welcomes everyone who is interested in running.

The Team Kuya Running was founded just five months ago by freelance photographer and communication student John Velez with a goal to promote running as a hobby and a stress reliever.

“We have 21 members, which includes three athletes from the University of San Carlos varsity team. We don’t intend to compete with the other groups; our goal is to make friends and have fun. If we ever finish in the top three, it’s an added blessing,” said Velez.

The 20-year-old student from Guadalupe, Cebu City shoots photos in running events and has been into this sport since 2013. He’s a first year Bachelor of Arts in Communication major in Political Communication student at the University of the Visayas.

The team is composed of young and new runners ranging from 15 to 30 years old. They’re also showing that they can compete as some members clinched podium spots in the recent SM2SM Run.

“Having fun and making new friends is one of the purposes of creating this group,” he said.

Team Kuya now has to wait on when the members could meet again as the world has ground to a halt due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The cities and towns have closed their borders with the enhanced community quarantine.

But this is not stopping the Team Kuya members from being productive even by just staying inside the house. Velez believes that this quarantine gives everyone the chance to enhance their skills, learn new things and finish any other activities that were left out.

“For me it’s the time to finish the needed school work and do some basic exercises. I also do DJ Mixing and I think of other ideas on how to promote and enhance my photography,” he said.

“My other teammates went home to their provinces and are making use of the space on their backyard for their training and short runs,” added Velez. “The others are using this one as an off-season.”

CCSC, the city’s main sports hub, is closed to the public until further notice as Cebu City and the rest of the Cebu Province follow the enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

“When things get back to normal, it’s back to zero for us runners. But we’re not complaining since the closure of the facilities is for the common good,” he said.


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