Saturday, May 23, 2009

Behind the scenes

We were divided into three groups in our second day into the IOC-Olympic Solidarity and Philippine Olympic Committee sponsored Advanced Sports Management Course-Managing Olympic Sports Organization. I was grouped with Len (Canoe Kayak), Meds (Sailing), Karen (Sepak Takraw), Raymond (Karatedo) and the guy from Wrestling.

One of the facilitator remarked that ours was the youngest group and remarkably idealistic. Surprisingly, what he said after noting that was something I do not often hear. I have come to accept and understand that there are times idealism is equated with impractical and unrealistic. I sensed a different perspective from this facilitator especially when he summed up that there was something common to all those ideas we shared, and that was passion.

This made me think that perhaps sportsmen, in their own way, are idealists. Olympism is grounded on ideals that help promote a way of life anchored on the following:

The balanced development of the body, will and mind
The joy found in effort
The educational value of being a good role model
Respect for universal ethics including tolerance, generosity, unity, friendship, non-discrimination and respect for others.

In the few hours I spent with my groupmates I have come to celebrate my idealism knowing that it is something we share. But it is not the kind of idealism blind to the realities of the environment and situations we deal with. It was solidly based on common experiences each of us share as part and parcel of serving our national sports associations only with our idealism, passion and commitment to drive us.

Philippine sports may have its share of problems but I believe that for as long as there are people who remain passionate and committed to the ideals of Olympism there is hope still.

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