Scoring a bright future with youth rugby
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - November 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Rugby Football Union president Rick Santos believes that Filipinos hold so much potential to succeed in sports, and he’s not talking about basketball, but about other team sports, such as rugby.

“It takes people of all shapes and sizes to be able to play the game. It doesn’t matter so much basically what your background is, you just need to have the skill, the determination, and you will be successful in the sport,” added the founder, chairman and chief executive of real estate consultancy CBRE Philippines. 

His own multi-hyphenate life as a corporate executive, entrepreneur and sportsman is proof of the lessons that rugby has instilled in him.

Thus, he makes sure to seize every opportunity to promote rugby in the country, even making it his personal goal to help underprivileged kids by getting them involved in sports to set them on the right path.

For many years now, his company has been staging the CBRE Juniors Tournament, a monthly competition that gathers teams from different age groups and communities who all share a love for rugby.

As CBRE Philippines’ corporate social responsibility program, it is a great way for Santos to fulfill his personal advocacy as well.

“We get kids from Smokey Mountain, Bahay Bata or Tuloy [Foundation] now coming in the ranks and become successful,” he shared. “This raw talent is valuable resource in strengthening the Philippines’ world-class showing in rugby,” he added.

The Pampanga Clark Jets is one of the many success stories of less privileged children that have been gain opportunities at doing better in life through rugby.

According to coach Jomari Rauras, the team, formed in 2004, has been fielding players from the indigenous Aeta community. It was hard for them at first to teach the sport to the young children, but through hard work and a lot of patience, their efforts paid off.

“The Aetas started playing last year. We have around 30 of them in our team,“ Rauras reported.

One such aspiring Aeta kid is 14-year-old Michelle Arceo. Since learning how to play rugby, she has been hooked on the sport and hopes to one day represent the country in rugby tournaments abroad as a member of the national team.

She wants to take up a course on Food Technology in college, and is hopeful of achieving her dreams with the support of her parents and siblings.

Arceo is just one of the many young lives who have been touched by the sport of rugby, proving indeed that the sport can help kids score a brighter future.


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