IT was last year when blind paratriathletes twins Jerome and Joshua Nelmida asked for a special request. They wanted to watch a “live ” game in the Philippine Super Liga women’s volleyball tournament.
Do not ask me how these two sports fans will be able to watch considering their condition but who am I to question what they wanted to do.
It is hard to turn down a simple request like that, after all, they deserve to get more in life than us. It was only recently that I was able to arrange their request and it was the semifinal game between F2 Logistics and PLDT for the right to meet Petron in the finals.
It only needed a phone call to F2 Logistics president Efren Uy and his son Earvin to make it happen as they were more than happy to accommodate the request of the blind twins who are members of the national paratriathlon training team that is eyeing the ASEAN ParaGames set January of next year following the SEA Games on December.
Truth is Efren and his family have met the blind twins when I brought them to his office last year to personally say thank you to Efren for the help he extended when we were raising funds for our paratriathletes for the Asian Triathlon Championship held in Legazpi City August last year.
If you remember, I was asked by Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) president Tom Carrasco Jr. to head the Philippine Paratriathlon Committee (PPTC) and help him promote the sport in the country. That time, we had not yet received any funds from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Efren was impressed by the twins, their attitude in life and disposition, their determination, enthusiasm, and acceptance of their condition and their continuing efforts to cope, that includes getting involved in sports, triathlon at that, and so when I called him to request for tickets for that game, he readily said yes and all I had to do was bring the twins together with mom Annette and guide to the venue.
Another truth is that up to now, the PSC still is considering our request for training funds for our paratriathletes and with a little over half a year to go, we have started moving on raising again funds and tapping kindhearted people to help us, and Efren was again one of those who responded to the call and he gave some financial contribution that serves as monthly allowance for the twins, bless him.
When we were at the venue, I asked Noel Zarate if he could announce it that the twins were there as special guests of F2 Logistics, and even sat with the Uy family in the special ringside section, and Noel, who was with me at the Asian Paratriathlon Championship also did not say no of course, even arranging for a short interview for TV with the twins, and you should have seen the brothers as they cheered on F2 Logistics in the game, enjoying the game as if they could see it personally just by being there and feeling the energy of the game and the crowd, of course the mom had to update them on the score regularly.
And F2 Logistics, banking on its championship experience, edged PLDT and after the game, with Earvin guiding one of the twins, we all went to the F2 Logistics dugout, another request from the twins, and Earvin introduced the twins to the team which responded positively to the twins’ presence, impressed too by what they have accomplished in sports despite their condition. Of course pictures were taken with the team and some individual players, including the twins’ favorite Aby Maraño, import Lindsay Stalzer and Ara Galang.
Game One of the best-of-three championship series saw the twins again as special guests of F2 Logistics, with some supporters saying they could be lucky charms for the team, and maybe they were because F2 Logistics shocked Petron on Game One, breaking the long winning streak of their opponents. With the twins again going to the gym, this time to show off their finishers’ medals in the recently concluded Subic Bay International Triathlon as they competed in the sprint event as part of their training for the ASEAN ParaGames.
Unfortunately for me, I missed Game Two as I was out-of-town, same with Game Three after Petron tied the series in the second game, and wrapped it up with another win for the clincher in Game Three. Come to think of it, maybe I was the missing lucky charm after all, just kidding.
And this is why I am saying that Jerome and Joshua were happy that they finally experienced watching a live game and even interacting with some of their favorite players, but with a BUT too, that is, definitely, they would have been more happy had F2 Logistics won the championship.
I am sure Efren would share the same feeling but then considering that F2 Logistics was missing the injured Kim Fajardo and the duo of Kim Dy, also injured, and Desiree Cheng, playing for La Salle in the UAAP, Efren’s team gave a good account of itself in the finals.
I would like to reiterate my thanks then to Efren and his team for making our blind paratriathletes realize one of their dreams in life.
Now if only the PSC can make them even more happy by approving our request for funding, that would be the perfect ending for me at least before the ParaGames, where the perfection would be complete if our paratriathletes led by Cebuano Alex Silverio together with the twins, will emerge winners.
Anyone who wants a lending hand to them, just let me know please.
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