The Cebu Provincial Sports Commission recently forged a partnership with Japanese coaches to help strengthen the province’s grassroots sports program especially on baseball.
Shirley Gamboa, who facilitated the communication and partnership, visited the provincial Capitol with the four baseball coaches and met Vice Governor Agnes A. Magpale and officials of the sports commission.
On May 25 and 26, the Japanese coaches conducted compact, two-day baseball training at the Mayor Exasperanza Binghay Sports Oval, Balamban.
Coaches Takashi Kaneko, Koichi Sato, Ootake Norio, and Yuji Takahashifrom Nihon University Yagamata Senior High School Baseball Club trained baseball players from Naga, Minglanilla, Balamban, Tuburan, Carmen, and Sogod.
Language was never a barrier during the baseball clinic between the Japanese baseball coaches and the top seeded baseball teams from the province.
Highlighted in the training were baseball principles of mind, spirit, and body. It means to mind for the team and work in unison; strong spirit to endure and never give up; and a body that develops a strong stamina.
They also taught the proper and solid stance of hitting, throwing, catching and fielding the ball.“This is good because we learn new techniques and skills which we do not usually practice”, said Tuburan coach Salvador Guitgit.
For Rosalina Custodio, head coach of Minglanilla,being trained by international coaches is a great opportunity for her team since most of her athletes are young; ages 6 to 12 years old.
Rosalina found a support system from her husband, Fernando Custodio who was also an athlete in his secondary years.
The couple spends their own money for equipment, shoes for the kids and for transportation to any tournament venue.
“It’s more than the coach-athlete relationship. We even spend more time with them than with our own kids. We treat them as our own. Since college na sad among mgaanak, nakasabotlangsilanamo,” said Rosalina Custodio.
The couple also shared they have athletes that are out of school, others with bad vices before joining the team. The Custodios said they make sure to visit the kids in their homes and talk to their parents.
Meanwhile, Balamban coach Malou Gorecho, was thankful for the efforts of the provincial government for giving importance to sports.“Atleast karon napansin na gyud, dili lang basketball or volleyball kay nakita namo nga gitagaan na sab gyud og priority ang ubang mga sport.”
Prince Ian Flores,six years old and the youngest in the roster of players, did not fully understand the responsibility of playing for his team but said that he enjoys learning in the field.
Sogod coach Joselito Archie said it is best to train young kids.“They are flexible, they have all the energy and we get to keep them busy the whole year, which keeps them away from developing bad habits.”
The Japanese coaches also donated six boxes of baseball equipment during their meeting with Vice Governor Agnes Magpale. They said more equipmentwillbe delivered anytime soon.