Some 2,000 runners will be seeing action early today, Saturday, April 1, 2017, via the JPD Coaching Fun Run to be held inside the premises of the Sisters of Mary School Boystown located in Tungkop, Minglanilla, Cebu.
Distances to be contested are 5K for the 14 years old and under and 10K for the 15 years old and above. There will be a girls and boys divisions for the 5K and only boys division for the 10K.
Aside from the 1,600 students of the SMS Boystown, also seeing action are 50 students from the SMS Girlstown, and some teachers and sisters of the SMS.
JPD Coaching headed by Cebu’s very own Olympian, Mary Joy Tabal, the first Filipina to have competed in the Marathon event of the Rio Olympics, and her head coach, John Philip Dueñas, decided to organize the fun run at the suggestion of the SMS Boystown local superior, Sister Emelan Lee.
Lee wanted to promote marathon or long distance running among their students because Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz, the founder of the Congregations of the Sisters of Mary and Brothers of Christ, which runs the Sisters of Mary schools, was an avid marathon enthusiasts.
According to Lee, she wants the students, who come from underprivileged families in and outside Cebu, to embrace marathon because through the sport, they can learn life lessons.
“Life is like a marathon, it is a long way, there’s challenges and U turns, detours, uphills and downhills, but you need to finish,” said Sister Lee.
Lee also wanted their students to realize that marathon is indeed a sport and not merely a jogging and a running activity that they are made to do for penance.
JPD Coaching has been handling running clinics at the school as part of the sports clinic project initiated by the University of the Visayas (UV) scouting coach Van Halen Parmis last January.
Trophies will be given to the top 3 winners while medals will be handed to the second up to the 10th finishers. Winners will also get certificates while Milo will be giving out Milo energy drinks for the finishers.
Aside from Milo, also making the event possible is Motorace-Kawasaki, which is taking care of the 2,000 race numbers, trophies and medals; Flame It for the water bottles which will be given to the first 120 finishers; and Smart Communications.
This is not the first time that the SMS Boystown has held a fun run as they had organized a 21K last year.
This time however, the participants will get to experience Tabal’s preparation as she will run them through how she prepares for a running event before the race.
The Parmis’ Project
Parmis started the sports clinic initially as a birthday project back in the second weekend of January wherein he introduced basketball with the help of varsity coaches of the Cebu universities led by UV; and football with the help of coach Eleazar Toledo and the University of the Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Kicking Panthers.
The next weekend, it grew to include running under the JPD Coaching; swimming under coach Roland Remolino and his children Mary Joana, Icyy and Andrew Kim, who is currently one of the Philippines’s top junior triathletes; table tennis under University of Cebu’s Val Stephen Jaca, one of Cebu’s bemedalled paddlers; and volleyball under coach Jordan Paca, who has led several Cebu universities to various wins.
The National University (NU) Bulldogs men’s football team, who is now currently ranked 4th in the UAAP Season 79 Men’s Football Tournament, had also visited the Boystown to share their knowledge with the students as part of the project.
Parmis’ project gained so much traction that it prompted the Cebu Provincial Sports Commission to lend assistance to the project. Initially, the CPSC donated 50 soccer balls for the training. Now, they have donated other sporting equipment and is giving allowances from March to August to some of the coaches helping out in the training.