Hear from the pros

World-class athletes rally behind Davraa Meet 2024 athletes
Hear from the pros

World-class Filipino sports figures, including Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Nesthy Petecio, have thrown their support behind the athletes participating in the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet 2024, which officially kicks off on Monday, April 1, at the Davao City-University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao Sports Complex.

Petecio, originally from Sta. Cruz but with roots in Bago Gallera, Davao City where she began her amateur boxing career, congratulated all Davraa Meet athletes for their sacrifice and dedication to reach this level.

The Paris 2024 Olympics-bound female boxer said she hopes to see the Davraa athletes also compete in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the Olympics.

"Good luck and God bless sa inyoha. First of all, magtiwala mo sa Ginoo always na, number one gyud na, sa inyong sarili, sa inyong coach. Kung maka-feel man mo'g alanganin or nagduhaduha mo, pag-ampo, mao na'y pinaka the best weapon sa tanan. Ayaw ninyo kalimti kung asa mo gikan, so good luck mga batang warrior
Nesthy Petecio, Tokyo Olympics boxing silver medalist

(First and foremost, always trust in the Lord, as He's the number one priority, followed by belief in yourself and your coach. If you ever feel uncertain or doubtful, turn to prayer, as it's the most powerful tool of all. And never forget your roots. So, best of luck to all you young warriors)," she said in a recorded video message.

Ernie Gawilan, a two-time Paralympian swimmer and an Asian Para Games multiple gold medalist, urged Davraa athletes not to give up on their dreams. 

"Ayaw lang mo'g surrender nga inyung kab-uton ang inyong mga pangandoy sa kinabuhi ug ang susi ana is maminaw mo sa inyung mga teacher, coaches, ug labi na sa inyung ginikanan ug apilan nato nga naa ta'y Ginoo saatong kinabuhi aron nay mu-guide sa inyoha (Don't ever give up on your dreams in life, and the key to achieving them is to listen to your teachers, coaches, and most importantly, your parents. Let's include God in our lives to guide us)," said Gawilan who had represented Davao City in several editions of the Philippine National Para Games.

Sydney Sy Tancontian, a bronze medalist in the World Sambo Championships 2023, encouraged all participants to persevere and continue striving towards their goals, emphasizing that hard work always pays off.

Para sa tanan nga muapil ug Davraa Meet 2024, keep on dreaming. Keep on working hard, maabot ra gihapon nato ang atong mga pangarap.

Sydney Sy Tancontian, World Sambo Championships 2023 bronze medalist

 (For everyone taking part in the Davraa Meet 2024, keep on dreaming and keep working hard. We can still achieve our dreams). Good luck to all of you and God bless!,” said Tancontian, who also clinched a gold medal in the Dutch Open 2024 International Sambo Tournament and serves as the chairperson of the International Sambo Federation Athletes' Commission.

Meanwhile, three-time Olympian swimmer Akiko Thomson Guevarra encouraged the athletes to put in the hard work.

"Winning the gold is not easy, there are a lot of sacrifices that you have to make, to always push yourself to be the best but the tears are worth it and it really is doing so much good in you, that maybe you don’t realize right now but one day, you will," the Philippine Olympians Association president said.

"Always remember to play hard, play fair, and have fun on the playing field."
Aikiko Thomson Guevarra, Three-time Olympian swimmer

Marc Alexander Lim, a jiu-jitsu gold medalist at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games from Davao City, expressed his excitement for all Davraa athletes as they prepare for the biggest sporting event in the region. "You must be proud of that," he said.

Lim, who will be the guest of honor in the Davraa Meet 2024 opening ceremonies, added in the vernacular, " I know your sacrifice, I know your training, you've been working hard, now it's just time to trust that hard work and perform. The game is almost here, maybe we are nervous but as long as you just do your best, that's all we can ever do. Turn nervousness into excitement, cherish the moment cherish the experience, and see you at the opening!"

These words of wisdom from seasoned athletes, both past and present, serve as powerful reminders for Davao's future national and international champions to persevere and never give up on their dreams. MLSA


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