The Grade School Student-Athletes General Assembly last August 16, 2017, organized by GS Sports Officer Chad Bouffard, highlighted three things a student-athlete should remember: Friendship, the One Big Fight, and have Fun (3Fs).

Opening remarks were given by University Athletics Director, Coach Noli Ayo. He emphasized that the opponent is not an enemy, but an adversary. He explained this further with the aid of an icebreaker that he taught the athletes before he gave his message. He incorporated actions and repeated the words Kalaro, Kaibigan, Kasama–the mantra of Mindanao Peace Games, an organization that promotes peace through sports, and empowers athletes and sports leaders all over Mindanao. The adversary is one who challenges the other to become better–a concept that Mrs. Libron, the Grade School Headmaster, expounded on when she spoke of the meaning of “Fight” in “One Big Fight.” She further shared that Atenean student-athletes train and compete–fight–to become the best versions of themselves. She ended her message with a reminder to the student-athletes, the same words she tell her two children everyday before they go to school, HAVE FUN.

The SAGA concluded with Maria Miclat’s reflection of her Europe trip with her fellow Track and Field teammate, Florian Besana, and coach, Airnel Abarra. Maria, from Junior High School, and Florian, from Senior High School, both had the opportunity to travel to different cities in France, Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands, within 40 days. An out-of-the-box experience organized by coach Airnel, with the support of their parents. They visited different schools to learn from different coaches and meet fellow athletes. Her story is the kind of story that we hope our student-athletes would experience too, an example of an athlete practicing the 3Fs. They do not necessarily have to go out of the country, they only have to find ways go out of their comfort zones to become better versions of themselves–form the right friendships, fight the good fight, and never forget to have fun at the same time.

“[The SAGA] was fun and exciting because we got to learn how to improve our skill and attitude in our sport. ” – Monica Bien, Grade 5, Chess

“The General Assembly was good! My favorite part was the cheering.”  – Zaki Sangki, Grade 4, Basketball

“I learned that in playing a sport, you should also use your mind, not only physical ability.” – Johan Pulumbarit, Grade 5, Badminton

“The General Assembly is important because athletes get to know their responsibilities as an athlete.” Marv Rubio, Grade 6, Chess

Written by Simone Jaldon, Special Projects Coordinator