EVERY successful endeavor takes two parties to make things work. Parent-children dynamics, teacher-student in-class interaction, supervisor-subordinate deals, etc. are what come to mind.
If one of the parties fails to work on their end of the agreement, things do not go as projected or anticipated.
The recurring story of the falling out between Patafa and EJ Obiena has been hogging the sports pages in the last week. Patafa is the governing body of track and field in the country with the mandate “to promote track and field as an amateur sport, organize and Technical Management for any Athletics events.”
EJ Obiena is the current world number 5 ranked pole vaulter from the Philippines. In recent memory, Patafa and Obiena were seen as supportive of each other, from the SEA Games to the Olympics.
Unfortunately, that support for one another is apparently out of the window, with the Patafa implying Obiena failed to settle financial obligations to his coach, which the latter has denied.
Making the story more complicated are rumors that other countries are now interested in giving citizenship to Obiena. The “Wesley So and Philippine Chess” incident comes rearing its ugly head again with this incident.
(Wesley So was a chess prodigy. He migrated to the US and changed federations after a falling out with the local chess body, who may have failed to recognize his 2013 Universiade gold medal win for whatever reasons. He now successfully plays for the US chess federation instead of the NCFP.)
World-class athletes are very rare. Training can get you to that status as much as the right attitude. Sports leaders who inspire are also scarce. Continuing professional development in sports can get you the position, but it takes character and attitude to inspire athletes.
Incidentally, there is still a lot that needs to be done to sustain world-class athletes and inspiring sports leaders.
We can work things out. And, it is the same desire we have for Patafa and Obiena. Work out your differences, and do it privately. We do not need the whole world watching our every move on this unfortunate turn of events. What we need to showcase is our professionalism in dealing with adversity such as this one. Again, it takes two parties to make things happen.
Willingness to listen and openness to solutions is a great start.
November 29, 2021
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