Philippine Rowing Team starts preparations for SEA Games 2021

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Philippine Rowing Team SEA Games 2021
The Philippine Rowing Association during their team building activities in Baguio. Photo from Toyota Motor Philippines.

The Philippine Rowing Team is starting preparations for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) scheduled for 2021.

The team of the Philippine Rowing Association that bagged three gold medals during the 30th SEA Games held in the Philippines in 2019 is hoping to recruit more members in time for the 31st SEA Games.

The gold medal winners at the 2019 Asian Rowing Coastal Championships in Thailand is now working on bringing more attention to the sport by making it accessible and promoting it in schools and provinces all over the country.

This is especially challenging due to the strict qualifications to be a part of the Philippine Rowing Association including a height requirement of at least 5’6 for girls or at least 5’11 for guys, and training three times a day from Monday to Sunday.

The coaches originally started with different sports but eventually developed their passion for rowing due to the practice and level of discipline that it builds up in the athlete. The sport easily allows individual training and provides whole body workout while enjoying nature. For the athletes, challenging oneself and setting progress goals are the main motivations.

On starting their impossible, the coaches and athletes gave inspiring and heartfelt advice which further shows their passion for the sport:

“Kung mas pinaghuhusayan ng kung sino man yung may pangarap, kung pinaghuhusayan na nila ngayon, mas paghusayan pa para maabot yung mga talagang gusto nila. [Whoever has a dream, if they are working hard, they should work harder to achieve it.]” – Cris Nievarez, 30th SEA Games Gold Medalist for lightweight men’s single sculls

“Keep on going sa pagpupursue nung goal mo. Yung samin nung SEA Games ganun din yung nangyari parang impossible to possible kasi yung sa gold tingin namin nung una talaga impossible… nung trainings kahit iniisip namin na parang imposible talaga. Dun nalang kami nag focus sa goals namin tapos nagawa namin siyang possible. [Keep on going to pursue your goals. For us, the impossible happened during the SEA Games because we thought it was impossible to achieve Gold. Even though we were thinking it was impossible during our training, we focused on our goals and we made it possible.]” – Melcah Caballero, 30th SEA Games Gold Medalist for women’s singles sculls and women’s doubles sculls

“Continue dreaming… just love what you’re doing then go lang ng go para maachieve mo yung goal mo… yung dream para sa lahat, hindi lang yan para sa mayaman, sa mahirap. [Para] sa lahat ng nangangarap… yung mga kababayan natin na medyo kapos sa buhay pero maraming pangarap nagiging sikat o nag iimprove yung sarili nila sa pagsisikap nila. [Continue dreaming… just love what you’re doing and keep going to achieve your goal. Dreams are for everyone, not just for the rich or for the poor. Some of our fellow men who are less fortunate but have a lot of dreams garner success or improve themselves through their hard work.]” – Coach Nicanor Jasmin

While training is important, the team’s camaraderie is important too. Last February, the team headed to Baguio for their team building activities, where the team bonded and strengthened the team’s dynamic while still incorporating a few training routines as they enjoyed the local scenery of Baguio.

The Philippine Rowing Association is one of the country’s teams who are using the 29-seater Coaster turned over by Toyota Motor Philippines to the Philippine Olympic Committee last December 2019. This transportation support is part of TMP’s efforts to help Philippine national athletes reach their fullest potential through mobility.

POC President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said “This is a big help to Philippine sports, especially to our athletes, coaches and officials. It offers mobility, convenience and comfort especially when commute is difficult. The POC will see to it that it benefits as many of our national teams as possible.”

“As the Official Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner, Toyota takes pride in harnessing the power of movement to achieve dreams and change lives,” says Ms. Cristina Arevalo, TMP’s First Vice President for Brand & Product Planning. “We further realize the Start Your Impossible philosophy “Mobility for All” by empowering our athletes with the Philippine Olympic Committee’s new Toyota Coaster. We hope to make transportation easier and more convenient for the country’s best athletes and representatives.”

Toyota’s Start Your Impossible (SYI) is a global initiative that supports Mobility for All, and the pursuit of excellence through hard work and determination without being limited by challenges. Previously, TMP has conducted numerous projects that support multiple advocacies leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, including the donation of one Toyota Coaster unit to the Philippine Paralympic Committee.

For more Toyota updates, visit www.toyota.com.ph or check out Toyota’s official social media pages at ToyotaMotorPhilippines (Facebook and Instagram), and @ToyotaMotorPH (Twitter).

SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below to the Philippine Rowing Team as they prepare for the 31st SEA Games!

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.