“I don’t know anything that builds the will to win better than competitive sports” – Richard M. Nixon, 37th US President
Back when I was a child (during weekends), I would wake up early and race with my friends to whoever comes first to our neighborhood’s tennis court. The reason – first three kids to arrive would become Ball boy/girl for the entire day’s match. In return, the players would compensate us for our service, we would sum it up and divide the amount equally to the three of us. After every set I would borrow the player’s racket and play with my fellow ball boy/girl. And that’s when I learned how to hit a ball or two.
I can still recall how I used to argue with my fellow ball-kids to whoever can get the larger cut of the amount. (Kids really, we argue a lot). After every game though, we still end up friends. We would even rush to the nearby store and buy ourselves snacks. I guess that’s really the best thing about being kids, they argue a lot, some get to be bullied, but at the end of the day they still end up being friends. Kids are just so forgiving.
And then I grew older, and the adolescence kicked in, so I stop doing the things I used to do. (Well you know, I am the only girl in that neighbor who pick up balls for the players, eventually it was awkward to run around the court.) And then there’s high school, I got tangled up with other sports. (Basketball, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Karate, etc.)
College finally came and I got interested to lawn tennis once more (who wouldn’t, when the tennis court was just outside our classroom. For the entire 5 years of my college life I spent 1/4 of it playing tennis. Even when it’s 12 noon and the sun was on its peak. My classmates and I would play for hours. I played for the engineering Department during intramural, I was so blessed to be coached by my mentor and one of my college instructor. We see him as our second father when we’re out-of-town playing and representing the school. He’s been very supportive and understanding when it comes to practice and actual match. And even when I sucked literally on the match he always keeps my spirit up. It was so amazing how huge his faith in Me, in our team, in our ability.
On my fourth year as an engineering student, our team qualified to play for the regional held in Bohol. It was kind of big deal since it was our first time to be able to play and represent the school. Although we didn’t win that time, I hold much pride for what we achieved that year. I thought that would be the highlight of my college days tennis career, a year after I proven myself wrong.
On my last year as an engineering student and a senior tennis player, our team got qualified for the nationals. It was pretty awesome year for me. My college days almost over and everything’s falling unto its proper place.
Whats great about the Nationals was that I had a week off from school and I was exempted from my exams and all, not to mention the team had to travel by plane to Manila for the competition. The Nationals took place in Ilagan, Isabela, Philippines – it is located on the right-most part of the Northern Luzon, facing the Pacific Ocean. To get there, we had to travel 12 straight hours by bus from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Longest bus ride I ever had in my entire life, but never did I feel bored. I was captivated by the mountain-view, seeing the Sierra Madre Mountains in person was breathtaking (best bus ride ever).
The highlight of the Nationals I must say was the experience, traveling to a completely unfamiliar place, the people I met, and the bonding. I made a lot of new friends and though the Region 7 delegates was composed of variety students from different universities in the Central Visayas, we showed great deal of team work and camaraderie. And no that’s not it, I also made a lot of friends from delegates from other region. Although, my team didn’t win during our matches, but the experience was all worth it. We didn’t win any medal, but we took home an award no one can take away from us – Memories… And oh, when I graduated my bachelor’s degree I was awarded ” Athlete of the Year”. Pretty awesome way to put an end to my college life.
Three years after, I am still in contact with those people I met during the Nationals, I know we’ll see each other again sooner or later,
Special shout-out to : Ton2, Stephanie, Rem Pasaol, Leonor, Roxanne, Aileen, Anjalieca Tan, Reyshell Alayacyac, Sir Edgardo Ceniza Sr., to the players from Bohol (BISU) and CNU, and all the people I failed to mention, Thank you so much for the memories!!
_February 21-26, 2011_
2011 National SCUAA Meet