Ed Garcia, a consultant on the formation of scholar-athletes in Far Eastern University, shared a few pieces of advice for student-athletes during the time of enhanced community quarantine that has left their seasons in limbo.
Photo courtesy of Mia Montayre
Riding out the quarantine, student-athletes told: Be brave, kind
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - March 22, 2020 - 2:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — The current situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country has affected the lives of many people.

And student-athletes — whose sports careers are now in limbo due to the enhanced community quarantine — are no exception.

Ed Garcia, a human rights activist and consultant for the formation of scholar-athletes at Far Eastern University, shared a piece of advice for student-athletes in the midst of the health crisis.

Garcia told the athletes to focus on the aspects of life that really matter at the moment, without the hustle and bustle of the sports season clouding their minds.

"We will all remember this period like no other in our lives when practically everything stopped, including our efforts to build team, to strengthen our skills and to prepare for future contests on the courts, the pitch, the track or the field," said Garcia in an email exchange with fellow Ateneo de Manila University alumna Mia Montayre.

"It is a time when we will remember the things that really matter: the lives of people, the fragility of life, the importance of loved ones, that all of us wherever we are and wherever we come from are somehow inter-connected as part of one human family," he added.

Garcia enumarated a number of truths that he would like student-athletes to focus on, including the value of family and seeing life as a gift.

He also reminded them of the challenges the quarantine brings to the table, especially to their roles as not only athletes, but students first and foremost.

"To study and to read since we are students first of all, and we have to excel in academics as well as in sports," Garcia said.

The 77-year-old also made sure to tell the student-athletes of their responsibility in flattening the curve and curbing the spread of the virus.

"To take responsibility so that we keep ourselves healthy as well as others who come our way for we are all responsible for each other," he said.

In his last point, Garcia added to the FEU Tamaraws famous motto of "Be Brave".

"To understand why it is important to be brave and to be kind, in these days when it is so easy to fall prey to fear, ignorance or intolerance; to play our own part, no matter how modest, so that we can emerge from this period better citizens of the country that we have learned to love," he said.

Garcia's Tamaraws as well as all other teams in the UAAP are awaiting developments on how the current season will unfold.

Rival league NCAA already terminated its 95th season due to the pandemic, but the UAAP has yet to decide on anything final.

Garcia sees the limbo in a positive light and encourages both student-athletes, and coaches to do the same.

"We look forward to the day when we can be together again with our teammates and coaches. But it will never be the same again. This period has given us a chance to bring out our better angels. Be brave!," he said.

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