MANILA, Philippines – In an effort to give back to the sport that they love, the BanKo-Perlas Spikers conducted a volleyball outreach workshop for the children of Odiongan, Romblon over the weekend.
Since its inception as one of the pioneer clubs in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) in 2017, BanKo-Perlas has been working to promote the sport to children in various grassroots communities in the Philippines through these volleyball camps.
"Ever since its inception, BanKo-Perlas' program has always included grassroots development clinics and workshops in our annual activities. It's our way of giving sustainability to the sport that we love by ensuring that we bequeath our knowledge to the future generations," said team manager Charo Soriano.
"The grassroots program hopes to inspire the Filipino underprivileged youth through volleyball, as it elicits joy and ignites hope for these young kids," she added.
The day-long clinic, which was participated by more than 100 children across Romblon, is backed by Nicole Tiamzon's Spike and Serve program, Globe and Liberty Insurance in cooperation with the Municipality of Odiongan and its Sangguniang Kabataan federation.
"It's overwhelming because I didn't expect din na babalik ako this year because my mindset is we are going back here for next year pa. Then super saya pa kasi kasama pa namin ang Perlas with Spike and Serve team," said Tiamzon, who is also the Perlas Spikers' team captain.
Among those BanKo-Perlas standouts who took part in the outreach program were Southeast Asian Games beach volleyball bronze medalist Dzi Gervacio, Sue Roces, Jem Ferrer, Ana Gopico, Roma Joy Doromal and Chi Sindayen.
"I'm very grateful that BanKo-Perlas is also a platform for reaching out to the generation of next athletes. After the victory we have achieved in the recent SEA Games, it was clear that it was also time to give back to the community that molded me to become the person that I am today," said Gervacio.
"During that time, I was with the company of people whose lives have drastically changed because of volleyball and I wanted to share the kids that no dream is too big so long as you put your heart and mind on it," she added.
The Perlas Spikers were grateful for the reception they received in the island province.
"Warm welcome everytime whenever I go here and grabe sila mag-alaga. At the same time, we already build a relationship before and the players we're responsive not just inside the court but also outside volleyball," said Tiamzon.
"Even the volunteer coaches and players were so great because willing silang matuto and they're super hungry to learn more and improve volleyball here sa province," she added.
With the help of BanKo-Perlas, Spike and Serve has good plans for 2020 to sustain its advocacy to invest and advocate grassroots volleyball.
"My plan for Spike and Serve next year is to continue to support existing communities and strengthen more the culture of Spike and Serve to the beneficiaries. We wanted to expand also to other communities of Rizal and I really wanted to back to other communities sa provinces kasi doon ako excited na makita yung small changes or impact to the community," said Tiamzon.
"And lastly, we wanted din sana to involve more athletes din to join us in reaching out to the younger generations."
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