Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) continues to enhance its support for Bataraza town’s sports development by organizing a virtual basketball workshop to produce homegrown coaches and players.

Community relations manager Reynaldo dela Rosa said Thursday that the inter-barangay basketball association (IBBA) online coaching, which kicked off on October 26, will continue every Saturday for six months.

Around 30 individuals were endorsed to undertake the online clinic. They include public school instructors, local government unit leaders, and former IBBA cup players in town. If younger kids are permitted to play outdoors next year, the clinic will shift to include them in February.

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“Ngayon, ang commitment ng RTN, habang wala pa ang face-to-face, habang bawal pa ang contact sports, sports education (ang gagawin) through online. Ang mga nagbibigay sa amin dito mga nasa PBA at UAAP conditioning coach tapos assistant coach ng Ateneo dati at UP. Sila ‘yong mga nagbibigay ng clinic pero online siya,” Dela Rosa said.

“Ang goal nito ay grassroot development ng kabataan natin sa basketball. Target ni mayor (Abraham) Ibba na makuha niya ‘yong number one rank sa Palarong Panlalawigan, dito namin sila tinutulungan,” he added.

Dela Rosa said that the support of the mining firm is not limited to its usual programs, instead, it is extending its support to youth enhancement especially in the area of sports.

He added that it is one of the commitments of the RTNMC to help the town in sports development that could help to develop the potentials of the locals.

“Para ‘yong impact niya ay hindi lang pang-fiesta, talagang part siya ng education ng mga bata. Hindi lang one-time activity—banner program natin ang basketball. Meron na rin kaming mga sinusuportahan na badminton, volleyball. Isang pino-propose din ng DepEd nga dahil may facility na ay ibang sports gaya ng gymnastics,” he said.

The RTNMC is looking on its continuous implementation in the next years as a long-term commitment of the company to the locals of Bataraza. In partnership with the LGU and the education department, RTNMC envisions producing quality athletes through the coaching clinic.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.