dominate a sport
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The Philippine Dragon Boat Federation team recently stamped its dominance on the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships in Tampa Bay, Florida by winning five gold medals and two silver medals and at the same time setting new world records in all of the events that they won.
The unheralded Philippine team, which trains in Manila Bay without financial support from the government, dominated better funded and well equipped dragon boat teams from all over the world, defeating powerhouses such as Australia and the US.
Dragon boat racing is one of the more unpopular sports in the Philippines and yet the Philippine Dragon Boat Team that competed in Tampa Bay, Florida were able to prove that despite the lack of funding and their rudimentary equipment, a team of Filipinos were able to excel in the international stage.
Unlike our unofficial national sport: basketball and its newfound darling sister football, where we Filipinos have been unable to dominate in international competitions despite the boatloads of attention, funding, and effort has been invested in the recruitment and development of its athletes, last week’s results at the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships prove that there are sports and areas of expertise that we can actually excel in.
The much-improved performance of the Azkals in international competitions and the scintillating performance of the Philippine Dragon Boat Team in Tampa Bay prove that our national obsession with basketball that has devoured a huge chunk of resources meant for sports development in the past decades without bearing any tangible fruit may have been truly misguided and could be due for a major review.
Seeing our countrymen win and dominate in the international stage makes us realize that we are capable of competing at that level in sports where we do not have natural disadvantages.
Seeing our countrymen win improves our national morale and pride and makes other Filipinos believe that they can also excel. If we are to see more achievements like the Philippine Dragon Boat Team, our sporting officials might want to look somewhere else and put their support behind sports other than basketball.*