To aid future sports stars

The recent Davao City Athletic Association (DCAA) Meet has led to the selection of the city’s best players for the upcoming Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet on April 11 to 14 next year in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Harmon Nataya, gold medalist in the 100-meter dash and silver medal winner in long jump and triple jump, Bon Jison Rivera, gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles and silver medal winner in the 400-meter run, and Mohammad Adin Hamsin, bronze medalist in the 110-meter hurdles and 200-meter hurdles, and gold medalist in the 4×100-meter relay were among the winners who will advance to the regional finals.
Nilajane Calderon, who liked Nataya, was the fastest runner in the girl’s division when she bagged the century dash gold medal aside from winning a silver in the 200-meter run and Beth Loise Moralde, gold medal winner in the 800-meter run, silver in the 1,500 and 3,000-meter runs.
All of them are favorites to grab more medals in the regional meet, a qualifying tournament for the Palarong Pambansa. If  their training goes well too, I am sure they are going to bag some medals in the national championships next summer.
These athletes, however, share a similar problem, nothing serious really but deserving of full attention.
For one, they could not really practice well because they are tied up with their studies. Another thing is that they don’t have extra money to buy the food needed before and after a grueling practice at the track oval.
A high school student-athlete from a public school, actually, is among the hundreds of city players who are left on their own during the training season. Believe me, it’s very hard to undergo a sports training with an empty stomach.
Of course, we cannot compare them to a high school student-athlete from a private school because his or her parents can afford to shell out extra money for their sports equipment and food.
But you see, Nataya, Rivera, Hamsin, Calderon and Moralde are potential top class athletes in the region and they want to be shining stars in order to get noticed by university and college sports directors.
These young boys and girls wanted so much to  excel in their chosen sport because they know that once they are able to come  up a very good track and field record, that will definitely be their ticket for a college scholarship.
Poor performances in secondary division tournaments will not attract sports directors from the University of Mindanao, Holy  Cross of Davao College or Brokenshire College to recruit them.
So, if you want to do something good for these outstanding athletes and their teammates, athletics coach and Davao City National High School teacher Jose Alther Rivera will be very, very glad to hear from you.
* * *
Happy birthday to childhood buddy Arvin Salih, fellow sportswriter Kristel of Manila Bulletin who covered the Mindanao Children’s Games in Davao City, maam Lirio Yeng Laureano of A.L.Navarro High and to our ever gracious host and party organizer ate Nellen Fernandez Forbes of Cebu and Canada.

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