THE island of Mindanao is a potential talent trove for sports. It is not only true for athletes but budding sports leaders. The Mindanao Peace Games (MPG) and their various collaborations with other sports entities harnessed it for six years.
With membership spread throughout Mindanao, MPG has fortified its ranks and has solidified its commitment to developing athletes for sports and the community. One of its flagship programs is the MPG Leadership Summit for Athletes (MLSA). Now in its fourth year, the MLSA has continued to instill the critical messages of Women Empowerment, Peace and Community Building, and Transformational Leadership in all its iterations.
This year's MLSA will have a different flavor despite the pandemic's challenges but promises to be as engaging and with much promise with their roster of resource persons, none other than the Athletes Commission of the POC. The Athletes Commission was established to bridge the national athletes' concerns to the POC and ultimately to the IOC. Having these personalities share their experiences as national athletes and officers from the Athletes Commission will indeed be inspiring for the MLSA participants.
While we acknowledge that a strong sports program should start at the grassroots, it is also imperative that we build a legacy while doing such. Any good program boasts of a strong foundation and history. These two build up into providing for a culture that will be embraced by members and recipients of the program. For the MPG, this has always been the way to go. With four years of experience in honing leaders thru the MLSA, the foundation and history are all set. It is essential for the MPG and the MLSA that the participants buy into the idea of leaving a legacy for the future Mindanao athletes to be proud of in carrying through.
On an island that has been overlooked for the longest time, developing leaders who will carry Mindanao's voice will slowly bridge the gap. Much like the Athletes Commission, this is the dream for Mindanao sports leaders, to become the voice that brings forth much-needed empowerment, community building, and leadership. May this become our legacy as Mindanaoans.