In March of this year, the world of sports came to a complete standstill because of a deadly virus that quickly spread throughout the world, infecting millions of individuals, and killing hundreds of thousands. The alarm was raised immediately and lockdowns were implemented, cancelling and postponing altogether, all sporting events scheduled to happen within the year.
From the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to local sporting meets such as the NCAA and UAAP, the annual competitions were halted for the safety of everyone concerned.
Fortunately, National Sporting Associations have taken it upon themselves to cope with the pandemic the best way they can.
A group in particular, the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL), has been more than active in doing their part since the pandemic began. Members of both the RP Blu Girls and the RP Blu Boys have traded in their bats and helmets to help in various outreach programs of ASAPHIL to help Filipinos affected direly by the quarantine. In fact, some members of the RP Blu Boys also donned military uniforms and joined the brave front liners manning checkpoints during the ECQ period.
Once restrictions were eased and checkpoints slowly removed from low-risk areas, ASAPHIL then focused its efforts on further enriching the knowledge of Pinoy softball coaches and players alike who has been stuck at home since the early part of the year.
Just last month, ASAPHIL also launched the Sports Science for Softball which is a 10-series webinar that tackles the fundamentals of strength and condition training specifically softball strength and conditioning training. The webinar featured Ric Teng the current strength and conditioning coach of MPBL’s Marikina Shoemasters and Nathan Futalan, former PSC and now PBA Magnolia Hotshots Strength and Conditioning coach.
“ASAPHIL has always advocated for the advancement of our Pinoy softball coaches and players through our grassroots programs and this 10-part webinar series is a testament to that unwavering commitment that not even a virus can defeat,” said Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines President Jean Henri Lhuillier.
The webinar has logged over 600 registrants eager to learn the importance of a strength and conditioning program which proved very useful for the RP Blu Girls in their past games, especially during the 30th South East Asian Games where the team won Gold.
Then RP Blu Girls Team Captain and currently ASAPHIL Secretary General Cheska Altomonte: “It will be hard to get back to it but the pandemic also allowed for a lot of learning to take place through webinars, which is really good because it wasn’t so accessible back then. Everyone may be starting at zero in terms of physical activities but if the strength and conditioning programs and other learnings will be applied by coaches when they get back—especially for the younger teams—then I call that a win.”
As of writing time, ASAPHIL is gearing up for more webinars for the softball community which will tackle various topics such as nutrition, mental well-being and more. For interested attendees, please tune in to their official facebook page, facebook.com/asaphil, for more details.