FOR the last two columns, I have written about including sports development in the platform of our aspiring candidates for the 2022 elections.
Last Wednesday, our very own Mindanao Peace Games Convener and AdDU Athletics Director, Coach Noli Ayo, shared the MPG experience in a virtual forum hosted by Ateneo de Naga University.
As I conclude my piece on sports and elections, I would like to share some of the insights I got from the virtual forum on sports development which hopefully, our aspiring candidates will notice.
Sports development will not happen if not anchored on three essential characteristics: Empowerment, Leadership, and Community Building.
When we plan and craft sports development programs, it should empower the leaders and the stakeholders. It must be a symbiotic relationship and not merely one-sided. Both parties must feel empowered that they can draw strength from each other in accomplishing the objectives and goals of the program.
Any development program must also encourage leadership. It must be well crafted that people would like to take on leadership roles leading to the program’s progress.
Lastly, it must build communities. It is easy to claim that we have made communities, but our impact in those communities needs to be authentic.
We cannot just proclaim bold claims; instead, they must be genuinely coming from the communities we have touched and made a significant difference.
It is what made the MPG a resounding success five years since its inception. Not even the pandemic has stopped it from growing. The MPG has empowered and created leaders and built communities through its programs and projects.
In the fall out of the 2022 elections, we look forward to electing leaders who will recognize these characteristics in leading the country to recover from the pandemic.
We look for leaders who will be willing to work with us. Make our recovery inclusive by listening to the stories of the people greatly affected by this pandemic, the jobless, the front-liners, the students.
By listening, we can empower everyone to take an active part. We can also bring forth new leaders who can share insights towards recovery.
Please bring in the sports leaders who may have brilliant ideas formed from their participation in sports events. We are all part of a more extensive community, and each one of us has a role to play.
As Gian de la Cruz, MPG Student-Athlete has put forth in that virtual forum, “Each one of us is integral to development.” In this case, each one of us is integral to our recovery.