Extra: Nicole Tiamzon builds communities through volleyball
Danine Cruz on Oct 12, 2018 07:47 PM
Nicole Tiamzon builds communities through sports
Extra is a video series where athletes share their passions and advocacies. Because they are way more than what you see on the court.
Former University of the Philippines and current Banko Perlas hitter Nicole Tiamzon talks about the road that led her to creating an organization dedicated to teaching kids volleyball.
Fresh from training little kids volleyball in the nearby covered court, Nicole Tiamzon sat inside one of the barangay halls in Taytay, Rizal. She was waiting for an interview she just squeezed in her Saturday before she headed to San Juan for a Premier Volleyball League game. In the middle of a conversation between Nicole and the few people inside the hall, she was asked, “Tiammy, ano bang pangarap mo?”
Her face lit up as she smiled and gazed around the hall.
“Ito. Ito ang pangarap ko. Public service,” she said.
And as she went on with the interview, it was revealed that it is a dream she is currently and constantly chasing.
Nicole was fresh out of college when she started Spike and Serve.
“After kong grumaduate ng UP, medyo blurred eh. After UAAP, I went to BanKo Perlas and parang may something na missing sa akin eh,” said the former University of the Philippines standout.
Rooted from fresh grad uncertainty and the quest for purpose, she built a community-based organization dedicated to teaching volleyball in the grassroots level. What was just initially a fund-raiser for free volleyball clinics for kids is now a full-blown organization.
Her advocacy is simple. She wants to teach kids the sport she loves so deeply and hopefully, opportunities like education and career, will open for them.
“’Yung feeling na parang na in love ka na. I wasn't complete if I'm not playing or seeing that ball. ‘Yun yung feeling na gusto kong mafeel din ng mga bata,” she said.
Currently, Nicole focuses on training a group of boys and girls in Taytay from less privileged families. In the next months, they plan on going to other provinces in the Philippines to share their program.
The journey of pushing for her vision of a nation with strong volleyball grassroots sports programs has not been easy. She shared the challenges they have met along the way such as issues with training venues, insufficient funds, and the lack of backing from local government units. Despite the logistics not always working for the groundwork of Spike and Serve, Nicole presses on. Crediting the university where she built her name, she expressed that service is indelible to her.
“Kaya important itong service sa akin eh kasi tingin ko tinuruan tayo sa UP eh,” Nicole said.
“Parang ito yung bumubuo sa sarili ko eh. Love language ko is service so giving back talaga. I give love by giving back,” she added.
Kind of lost. Searching for purpose. Fresh graduate.
These phrases describe Nicole’s state before Spike and Serve was made. This just goes to show that you don’t have to be qualified to be of service to the people. You just have to want to.