Victory for Rizaleño athletes

Published July 11, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Dr. Jun Ynares


Dr. Jun Ynares
Dr. Jun Ynares

An author who was known for his intensive study of small businesses once said in a speech delivered before university students:

“It is not the strongest who will survive, but the most adaptable.”

This professor who went by the name of Leon C. Megginson was echoing a principle which many believed was said by the scientist Charles Darwin, the proponent of the evolution theory. Darwin is quoted as having said that “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent.”

“It is the one that is most adaptable to change,” Darwin was supposed to have said.

There is still a debate within the international science community as to whether or not Darwin had really made that statement.

Whether or not he had, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have made the world realize the importance of this particular quality: adaptability. It means the “ability to rapidly learn and acquire new skills and behavior in response to changing circumstances”.

Based on this principle and definition, it looks like humankind’s cherished passion and pastime – Sports – will survive and continue to thrive.

The world of sports was among the first to learn to adapt.

One of the most visible ways with which it has adapted is the move among several major sports leagues to go online – to livestream the games we used to watch on live venues. We had one season of local professional basketball leagues livestreamed. The championship matches in the National Basketball League (NBA) is also broadcast over television and over the internet.

The local National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has also begun its season without the usual in-venue contests – something that a lot of basketball afficionados is missing. The league, however, has started its season anyway, and some of the sports events like chess and speed kicking are being played online.

Unknown to most Filipinos, a major international sports event took place online recently.

And, unknown to most Filipinos, young student-athletes from the province of Rizal dominated that online global sports event.

The event was Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition organized by the Mexico-based Club Heymo. The event was streamed from Mexico and saw the participation of some 1,200 young gymnasts from about 86 clubs from 38 countries.

In that event, our country, represented by Rizaleño and Antipoleño gymnasts won a total of a whopping 32 gold medals and one bronze.

Our standout athletes belong to the Rizaleños Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. They came from various schools in the city of Antipolo and in the Rizal towns of Binangonan, Taytay and Angono.

No, our young athletes did not fly to Mexico to compete.

Here is how the gymnastics sport adapted to the current situation. The 86 participating clubs from 38 countries video-recorded their performances in the various categories and were sent online to the host Club in Mexico.

For the most part of their preparation, our young gymnasts also had to practice online – the very same method now being used by various school-based teams who are preparing their teams for a much hoped-for resumptions of inter-school sports competition. We understand that school-based student athletes have been doing their regular conditioning workouts and basic skills practices with their coaches and trainers using online applications.

We are glad that our sports organizations, local and international, are looking for ways to adapt to the current harsh realities of the pandemic.

Sports is essential (just like the famous “lugaw”). Sports creates opportunities for our young people to discover themselves, to aim for higher goals, and to test the power of the brains and bodies in the arena of constructive competition. It also gives them access to scholarships which help them earn college degrees that prepare them for a productive future.

We learned that some of the members of the winning team of Rizaleño gymnasts came from underprivileged families. A good number of them are recipients of awards recognizing their academic excellence from their respective schools.

Sports also help us discover our current, present-day heroes. Sports competitions give us the opportunity to cheer them on and share the memorable moments of both their victories and setbacks. This way, Sports helps us be and feel like a community.

We congratulate the school heads, trainers and coaches of the members of the Rizaleños Rhythmic Gymnastics Club for this feat.

And to the members of our winning team, congratulations and thank you.

Thank you for giving us a moment of victory and a piece of good news.

In times like these when we are all still trying to adapt to our new environment, your victory has given us a source of valuable inspiration.

To the world of Sports, congratulations for the major gains in the bid to adapt. Thank you for the assurance that Sports will survive these tough times, just like the rest of us.

*For feedback, please email it to [email protected] or send it to Block 6 Lot 10 Sta. Barbara 1 cor. Bradley St., Mission Hills Subd., Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City, Rizal.