Run out of poverty

DAVAO. Run Out of Poverty founder Tony Benson, a 1972 Olympian, bares their goal of helping children get free education through track and field and producing champions in the future. (Photo by Macky Lim)
DAVAO. Run Out of Poverty founder Tony Benson, a 1972 Olympian, bares their goal of helping children get free education through track and field and producing champions in the future. (Photo by Macky Lim)

THE Run Out of Poverty (Roop) eyes to produce 50 to 100 runners that will earn scholarships in the University of Mindanao (UM).

Roop conditioning coach Eustaquio "Stax" Savellano bared this when he guested in the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum held at The Annex of SM City Davao yesterday with Roop founder Tony Benson, a 1972 Olympian and former world no. 5 in men's 5,000 meters.

This came on the heels of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed by Benson and UM president Willie Torres last September 29 at the UM Track and Field Oval in Maa, Davao City with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez and UM sports director Joaquin "Boy" Sarabia as witnesses.

Savellano said Benson will teach track and field in UM but the school will be Roop's new training hub as what was agreed in the MOA.

Roop, which currently has more than 40 active young members, has three potential runners for athletic scholarships at UM.

Benson, for his part, said it is essential to have a good training facility to also achieve their goal of producing future Olympians. But people who will support them in making their goal is equally important.

He underscored the need for coaches who are willing to train the children.

Benson, who trained the likes of Lydia De Vega and Elma Muros during the Gintong Alay program, added, "We cannot also train a good track and field athlete without starting from the bottom (grassroots level)."

Roop's main focus, according to Benson, is for the development of its athletes and create Asian Games champions.

It can be recalled that Roop started in a small space in Barangay Langub in December.

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