Tennis trainers organize bike donations for scholars

Published October 6, 2021, 8:19 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Extending its commitment to further help tennis ball boys and trainers nationwide, Pinoy Tennis Trainers (PTT) organized a bicycle donation drive called Bikes for Life to continue helping PTT scholars, amidst the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

With the height of the global health crisis and the new normal set-up, sports events and activities have been affected.

PTT trainers were restricted from doing their regular training sessions, which badly disrupted their main source of income.

PTT decided to start the bicycle donation drive to help their trainers and scholars be able to find another source of income, by providing them a safe way to travel, while face to face training sessions are still not allowed.

CONTINUING COMMITMENT. The mission of Pinoy Tennis Trainers (PTT) of empowering and helping local tennis trainers nationwide, carries on amidst the pandemic. Sebastien Lhuillier, co-founder of PTT, pursues the organization’s commitment outside the tennis courts by launching the Bikes for Life initiative. Photo taken during one of PTT’s leg sessions before the pandemic started.

“During my time with our trainers and scholars, I have heard their stories as fathers and breadwinners, and how their work as ball boys and trainers was able to provide for their families. With private classes and sports clubs still closed indefinitely, my main worry is how they can continue to earn for their everyday expenses and still provide for their families’ daily needs,” Sebastien Lhuillier, PTT co-founder and Bikes for Life Project Head, shared.

Through PTT’s official website and Facebook page, the donation drive was able to give away 20 bicycles to deserving PTT Scholars. For them, this is a chance to continuously earn a living whether it’s inside or outside the playing court.

“We want to thank our friends who donated bicycles. Our PTT trainers are very grateful and excited to use these bikes to have another way to earn for their families. As we continue to experience and struggle through the effects of this health crisis, we wanted to somehow help them to have a better fighting chance to survive this pandemic and continue to provide for their families,” Lhuillier added.

Gerundio Zabala, Jr., like many other PTT trainers and scholars, lost their regular source of income, due to the pandemic. He was struggling to provide for his family since the start of lockdown, a year and a half ago. With his new bike, he can continue supporting his family through his side hustle of food delivery services.

“Di na po ako nakapagturo since the first lockdown dahil nagsara na ang mga tennis courts na malapit sa akin at hindi na rin po ako makapunta ng malayo, dahil mahirap at delikado ang biyahe. Malaking tulong ang bike na ito para sa pag-dedeliver ko ng food at pang-travel ko na rin po araw-araw, pag nagbukas na ulit ang mga tennis courts,” said Zabala, Jr.

Johnny Manalang, another PTT tennis trainer, is one of the first batch of recipients who benefited from PTT’s Bikes for Life initiative. To be able to sustain his family, he is currently doing delivery errands and services as a “Pasabike” driver usinghis new bike.

“I’d like to thank PTT and Sir Sebastien for giving us anotherway to earn for our family. I can definitely use this for a PASABIKE driver,” said Manalang.