Most fans think that the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) is all about sports events in the first semester. What they don’t know is that for years, Cesafi also has the academic and cultural contests in the second semester, the only school-based sports league to do so.
After another awful ranking for Philippine students, the Department of Education (DepEd) is looking at holding spelling bees in shopping malls as part of its thrust to improve the state of education in the country.
But perhaps DepEd can take inspiration from Cesafi.
Back in high school, we had the Math Olympiad and the Physics Olympiad and other academic contests held separately. Perhaps, DepEd can adopt the Cesafi model and hold all of these academic and cultural contests together and under one umbrella, to give the academically gifted students the same platform to shine as the athletically gifted ones.
And yes, holding them in public areas like shopping malls will promote these contests and encourage schools and students to join. Not all schools can form a basketball team but every school has that Math, Physics or English geek.
Back in high school, there was that academic contest on TV that was quite a hit. Perhaps this could be a way to get back to that time, when academic contests, not just sports, were primetime TV.
A decade or so ago, the Sportswriters Association of Cebu held a trivia contest at the Ayala Center Cebu Activity Center and I tell you, it was as exciting as a basketball game.
I’m confident that holding Math or Physics Olympiads in such a public place will be as exciting.
Let’s face it, the educational system in the country is stagnating, perhaps such contests can jumpstart a change?
SECOND SEM SPORTS. A few years back, the second semester was also when Cesafi held its Partners Cup, a chance for schools to team up with commercial partners for a basketball tournament.
I’ve forgotten why that was discontinued but perhaps the schools can pick it up again. They don’t necessarily have to wait for Cesafi; they can initiate pocket tournaments on their own and hold them at their own courts.
It’s every Cesafi team’s dream to have strong support among their students but it’s difficult to develop that when your own students rarely see their own teams play.
I think the second semester is the time to do that; if a pocket tournament is too difficult, friendlies could be an option. Holding games at their own court not only gets their teams closer to the students, it’s also a reward for schools who spent to improve sports facilities.
Besides, should these home games be successful, perhaps it will inspire Cesafi to look at having home-and-away games during the regular season.