One could argue about which sport is the favorite among Filipinos, but there is no doubt that basketball is among the top of that list–from the streets, to school and company gyms, to the FIBA World Cup, basketball is very much a part of the Philippine culture–with people of various ages and different walks of life enjoying the sport. That is why for their CSR Program, Ates and Kuyas from well-known airline Cathay Pacific tapped us to hold a basketball workshop for the kids of Tuklasan Center for street children.
Last May 28, we all trooped over to Tuklasan in San Juan for a morning filled with lots of fun, excitement, and basketball. As an extra special treat, we were able to invite former UAAP, PBA, and Philippine national team basketball star, Kuya Ren Ren Ritualo, to lead the U! Happy workshop!
As our customary activity, we asked all the volunteers and kids to get to know each other prior to the day’s events. As part of introductions, Kuya Harvard asked everyone to tell each other their favorite basketball players. After introductions were made and each volunteer paired with a kid, we then grouped everyone into four teams, and introduced Kuya Ren Ren to the group.
Before diving into the workshop proper, Kuya Ren Ren first made sure everyone was warmed-up to avoid injuries. A bit of stretching and flexing commenced, then followed by basketball drills. We gave each team 2 balls each to take turns doing dribbles and passes, much to the kids’ excitement. After several rounds of drills, we then proceeded to shooting the ball from the free throw line per pair, and catching rebounds! This activity got everyone very energized and excited, as each pair of kid and volunteer did their best to make the shot and be the last remaining. Upon announcing the winner, Kuya Ren Ren then asked each team to choose a pair to represent them in the next game, which was shooting balls from 3 angles in the 3 point line. Each team happily cheered on their representatives, as the volunteers and kids tried their hand at shooting 3-pointers.
After the activity, we asked Kuya Ren Ren to share a message with everyone present–an opportunity he took to impart advice to the kids about working hard to reach their dreams. He inspired everyone to grow their talent and invited the volunteers to keep on supporting the children, sharing that he does basketball workshops for kids such as these on a regular basis.
To end the event,we handed everyone their lunch to recharge after such a fun-filled day. Each group also posed with Kuya Ren Ren, and we capped off the workshop with a group photo, with the kids hugging their Ates and Kuyas goodbye, thankful for sharing their love and their time.
Thank you to Cathay Pacific, UPIS volunteers, and to Kuya Ren Ren for making the event such a meaningful one for the kids of Tuklasan!