Cabadbaran City athletes raising their hands, looking up as though beholding something higher and greater than themselves during the opening parade of the 2019 CAA-RSC in Surigao City.

By Love Emma B. Sudario
SEPS, Cabadbaran City Division

Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Lorenzo O. Macasocol, during the send-off ceremony for the 362-strong delegation of Cabadbaran City Division competing in the 2019 Caraga Athletic Association Regional Sports Competition (CAA-RSC), urged them to look beyond and aim for something greater than themselves.

What, then, is this “something greater”? Or we may ask: what has sports – perhaps the most stressful component of DepEd curriculum – got to do with improving athletes’ quality of life?  How many of them have actually become champions in daily life?

This article does not attempt to provide comprehensive answers to these questions. Nonetheless, we know that sports can change lives when self-discipline, the will to succeed, and the determination to continuously improve oneself are given more importance than medals and other perks associated with them.

This paradigm was echoed by Usec. Lorna Dig-Dino, DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum Instruction, during the opening program of the CAA-RSC held at Surigao Sports Complex on February 24, 2019. She explained that competing against oneself is greater than competing against another person or team.

In the same event, Hon. Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar, Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), shared a similar sentiment as he told the athletes to let excellence inside the playing field flow out into all other fields of life. “Every track and field you run, every high jump you attack, every stroke in the swimming pool, every weight lifted, every event where your expertise is put to the test . . . aim faster, higher, stronger until you achieve the best that life bestows to those who aim to win,” he said.

What, then, has sports got to do with changing lives for the better? Based on what the leaders had said, there’s a lot. But the values ingrained in every sporting event will only matter for those who hearken and behold the ideals of excellence. More than its entertainment value, sports is a real doorway to something greater.