Volcanoes dedicate game to moms
(Photos by Vyn Radovan)
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Volcanoes vowed to play from the heart at the 2015 Asian Rugby Championships (ARC), which kicked off with a match against Singapore last Wednesday afternoon at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
That one person they would want to dedicate their games to? Each of their moms, of course.
This is especially for the half-breeds—some of them have come home and taken a break from their 9-to-5 jobs abroad, some originating from overseas, but have since stayed here for good to continue boosting rugby in the country. Coming from different places only to be reunited by the sport, these players also find another point of similarity: Being born to and raised by Filipino moms.
Before the tournament, the Volcanoes shared with ABS-CBN Sports their sources of inspiration and how they would want to make them proud:
Fil-Australian Justin Coveney, who plays inside center for the Volcanoes, considers the ARC a special event he had long wanted to spend with his mom. Mommy Laarni, who originally hails from Bataan, arrived from Australia over the weekend to watch her son play and celebrate his 20th birthday.
“I grew up with a Filipino mother, who was always very protective of me and never allowed me to play any form of direct contact sport. Of course, she was concerned that I would get hurt and wanted me to be 'wrapped in cotton wool' as long as possible. She will be the face in the crowd I will turn to in failure or success because, either way, I know she will be proud of me and that means everything to me.”
Volcanoes’ Fil-Australian captain Jake Letts, for example, also vows to go all out, all heart for his Filipino mom. Mommy Lulu is a Bicolana who married Jake’s dad, with whom she bore Jake and two other rugby-playing sons, Michael and Dave.
“I will (be dedicating my games) in some sense. She is my number one always.”
Ben Mudie, another Fil-Austrlian who plays for back row for the team, grew up in the arms of a Bicolana mom. Mommy Gina is now based in Australia along with Mudie’s father and two siblings, but they have all flown here recently to watch him compete in the tournament.
“I’ll be doing my best for her, my brother, family and the rest of the Philippines to make everyone proud. Obviously, this will be a special occasion as they’ve travelled so far to be here for me and watch me play. And I just want this to be a memorable occasion for all. I’m excited for the moment when I hear the roar of the crowd and know my family is up there watching me.”
Fil-American Kenneth Stern, who plays wing for the Volcanoes, says he has always dedicated every match he gets into to his Mommy Marlene who died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. His mom was from Quezon City, and his grandma’s family is from Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
“She always believed in me and pushed me to do my best and follow my dreams. I dedicate all my success in sport and life to her. She would have loved to watch the games here on Mother's Day and see how well the Philippines is doing. She would have been very proud, as she was always my biggest fan and the team’s number 1 supporter.”