S+A's Heroes Camp brings kids closer to volleyball dream

S+A's Heroes Camp brings kids closer to volleyball dream
The first batch of graduates of the S+A Heroes Camp volleyball clinic

The journey to volleyball greatness has begun for over 200 budding Filipino athletes who participated in the six legs of the Heroes Camp Volleyball Clinic of ABS-CBN S+A. 

Aged seven to 16, the young volleyball heroes-in-the-making learned proper warm up and cool down, volleyball fundamentals, and the importance of teamwork, discipline, and hard work in the Heroes Camp, which was held in barangay covered courts in Mandaluyong, Marikina, Taguig, Malabon, Las Pinas, and Quezon City starting last August. 

A project of S+A in partnership with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya, Heroes Volleyball Program (HVP), Creamline ice cream, and Premier Volleyball League (PVL), the Heroes Camp is part of ABS-CBN Sports’ advocacy of promoting sports development in the country. Last year, it also organized a series of basketball clinics in different communities, giving underprivileged children an opportunity to get quality sports training for free. 

ABS-CBN S+A channel head Vince Rodriguez said the network sees the potential of sports as a vehicle to make a positive impact in the lives of young Filipinos. 

“Sports is fun to watch, that is a given. But we in ABS-CBN believe that more than that, sports can teach kids valuable lessons like hard work, excellence, and teamwork that they can apply outside the court --- at home or in school, and live by for the rest of their lives,” he explained.

Similar to how the leading sports channel puts emphasis on the inspiring stories of athletes, the Heroes Camp also featured motivational talks by PVL players who shared with the kids just what it takes to become a winner and a champion. 

They include Isa Molde and Diana Carlos of the UP Lady Fighting Maroons, Iari Yongco and Josemer Tapic of Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers, Gyzelle Sy and Kai Nepomuceno of the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors, Grethcel Soltones of Bali Pure Water Defenders, Kath Villegas of Power Smashers, and Aeriel Patnongon and Coleen Bravo of Creamline Cool Smashers. 

UP team captain Carlos told the kids, “We won’t just get whatever we want. We have to work hard for it every day.” She even shared with them that she continues to improve herself because she aspires to be like volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez someday.

In the last leg of the Heroes Camp last October 14 in Brgy. Balonbato in Quezon City, UP spikers Molde and Rosie Rosier played mentors to the kids as they led some of the drills with the coaches from HVP. They stayed around to award the certificates to the kids themselves and take pictures with them. Then, to help the kids for the long-term, S+A also turned over to their barangay captain Lilybeth Marcelino new volleyballs and a volleyball net that they can use to further hone their skills. 

“We are very thankful to ABS-CBN. We are very happy that the clinic pushed through because there are many kids here who show interest in volleyball, girls and boys. It is important to get them started early, to mold them physically and mentally. Maybe some of them will even be varsity players in the future,“ Marcelino said. 

One of those who came to show support for the kids was Balonbato’s very own volleyball pride Carlo Almario, who used to play volleyball for the University of the East in the UAAP. Almario, who was able to finish college and currently earns from playing volleyball in the commercial leagues, believes that the sport can help the kids in his community as it has helped him. 

“It does not always happen that somebody comes here to teach sports to the kids. We are grateful that our barangay was chosen for the volleyball clinic. Through perseverance and determination, I know these kids can fulfill their volleyball dreams.”

The young graduates of S+A’s Heroes Camp, may not be wearing capes, but the passion and eagerness to learn they displayed in their volleyball jerseys prove that they have what it takes to become heroes and champions not only in volleyball, but in the game of life. 

With the success of S+A’s Barangay Basketball Clinic and Heroes Camp Volleyball Clinic, Rodriguez said they hope to visit even more barangays in the coming months to reach and inspire more kids to get into sports. 

For more information on the S+A Heroes Camp Volleyball Clinic or inspirational stories of athletes, visit sports.abs-cbn.com or watch games and “The Score” on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD. Watch online via iwantv.com.ph or skyondemand.com.ph and follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook and Twitter.

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