Hitting two birds (or more) in one stone

On May 18, 2018, basketball players and fanatics flocked to Bataraza Gymnasium for the official start of Inter-Barangay Basketball Association Cup Season 2. Hundreds of athletes represented the 22 Barangays of Bataraza vying for the most coveted championship.

Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) and Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Bataraza organized the largest-participated sports event in town as part of its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).

As per CBNC, supporting IBBA Cup is more than just an implementation of an SDMP or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. It is even more of supporting sports program in town.

According to Wolfgang Brettsohnneider (1999), there are scientific studies which shows that sports for young people can lead to emotional and not just physical development. It can lead to improved selfesteem being better able to handle stress, increased academic performance, and better relationships with family.

I wish I would have known this fact already during my younger years. I could not consider myself an athlete but I’m already happy to at least know and practice a little of every sport, particularly the famous game of basketball. I remember my youthful days during the early years of my employment at Aguinaldo Development Corp. (ADECOR) in the early 70’s where yours truly had been one of the leading players of our ADECOR Boys team with my role as forward. I also had the chance to join our team in invitational basketball tournament during fiestas at Quezon, Palawan playing against our formidable opponent, the Berong-Soriano Exploration (Sorex) team. Upon joining RTN in late 70’s again I’m fortunate to be chosen after try out as one of the first 5 players of our Acctg-Whse basketball team during company-sponsored sports activities.

Okay, back to the topic. Sorry for a quite long throwback. I personally believe that if many young people can develop a strong love of sport, it can be a hook to improving community conditions and strengthening protective factors for the players and others.

Strong relationships can evolve when coaches, managers and athletes spend a lot of time together and work toward a common goal. They may learn that players have various issues (for example, a poor diet, family problem) that can affect their health and their ability to perform. They may also learn that the community has certain needs, and that sport can be a lever for improving conditions. In these ways, sports can be a real tool for community development.

In prevention, I also see sports as protective factors or assets that can be potentially developed and can help prevent a range of problems, including substance (drugs) abuse. War on drugs is unarguably the most prominent program of President Rodrigo Duterte. But for CBNC, regardless of who the leaders are, the company supports program on drug abuse prevention. One way is supporting basketball sports programs. The company knows that drug abuse prevention needs to address more than the provision of alternative leisure activities or sports. But at least, it’s a good start and eventually a good foundation in the communities.

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