PSL’s art of winning: The secret of making model students out of gold-medal winning athletes

Inquirer Libre - Davao - - SPORTS -

THE ART of winning, according to the Philippine Swimming League, isn’t just about having athletes swimming for gold medals during local or international competitions.

It is also about the making of athletes to be better citizens by stressing the importance of education.

Susan Papa, no stranger to the ups and downs of the sport, never gets tired of saying that while making huge waves locally and internationally, PSL athletes are also model students.

‘‘It’s all about focus,’’ said Papa, an Asian Gamer, who heads the PSL.

The PSL was formed following widespread dissatisfaction on how then Philippine Amateur Swimming Association was running the affairs of the sport, is recognized by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP).

Due to its large following, the PSL is also affiliated by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). Its chairman is former Senator Anna Dominique ‘‘Nikki’’ Coseteng.

Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa noted that because of their desire to excel, PSL swimmers tend to become model students, too.

PSL parents play a crucial role in the making of future internationalists. It is common for the their parents to accompany their sons and daughters to local and international competitions.

Due to their young age, motherly love and fatherly advice are very important.

There’s Joan Mojdeh, mother of future star Jasmine Micaela, Jen, mother of Australian-based Nathan, Angieline, mother of Aishel Cid, Dennis, father of Master Charles Janda, Gina, mother of Paul and Paula Cusings, Victoria May, mother of Kyla Soguilon, the De Guzmans, the Whites, the Calleras, the Estrellas,the Salvadors, the Aciertos, the Luistros, the Pelayos, the Austrias, the Tumulacs and many more families.

The list is endless but among the notables are Soguilon of Aklan, who studies at the Regional Science HS, Sason excels at the Darling Range Sports College, Neil Salvador studies at the Angelicum Learning Center in Cagayan de Oro, Mojdeh’s favorite subject is Christian Living at the Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Paranaque, Callera studies at St. John of Beverley of Novaliches, Marc Bryan Dula likes mathematics while studying at the Wisenheimer Academy, Evangelista likes science while studying at West Manila Christian School, Janda studies at St. Francis School in Orion, Bataan, Trump Luistro studies at Hope Christian School in Legazpi City, Estrella is a Grade 4 student at St.Peter’s College in Ormoc, Lee Grant Cabral is a proud student of Diliman Preparatory School in Quezon City, which is fast becoming as a hub of swimming.

But here’s the rub. PSL, parental support, desire to win, sacrifices, brushing aside daily distractions, focus are just part of the recipe of success for these young swimmers.

Lest I forget, PSL’s Papa likes to say a prayer infront of the wide-awed youngsters before plunging into the cold, enthralling Olympic-size pool.

Prayers, afterall, happen to be their biggest weapon.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

THE PSL contingent poses before plunging into action. BATTLE-READY

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

PERFECT FORM

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

TENDING THE YOUNG PAPA teaching a young swimmer how to ‘‘fly.’’

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

PSL chair and former Senator Nikki Coseteng at the Universiade.

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