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Yesterday, athletes from the 17 regions of the country braved the scorching heat of the sun to join the opening ceremonies of the Palarong Pambansa at the University of the Philippines-Mindanao Campus in Mintal.

As expected, with about 18,000 in participants, roads leading to the playing venues and quarters for the sporting event have been expected to be congested during the duration of the event.

Events like this that involve young students become good training grounds not only in honing their talents and skills but also their character as players and individuals. Swag on the court may be a normal thing nowadays, but accepting a loss or celebrating a win is what defines a person.

Basketball player-turned-coach Sue Wicks aptly put it in a better perspective when she said: “I think sportsmanship is knowing that it is a game, that we are only as good as our opponents, and whether you win or lose, to give 100 percent.”

The players and their coaches – as well as their respective supporters- must treat this sporting meet as their venue to showcase their skill sets as players, but must also have to respect their opponents even if they believe in themselves.

More than the medals, their ways of treating their opponents will define them as individuals, something that they can build on to become great athletes or business executives or whatever they become when they grow up.

In events like this, sportsmanship, although a word that is very stereotypical, is key in character building.


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