I believe anyone in the running community knows about this issue — our local talented runners not getting enough support. But, I believe there are a lot who are already doing something in their own little way to help:
* BaldRunner and other popular/celebrity runners for continuously working on making the running community keeping a relentless forward progress
* the coaches who shared their time for free to those aspiring talents (Hey, time is gold!)
* the talented runners helping other runners
* the schools for their varsity programs
* private individuals who sponsor runners as much they can — elite or not
* running clubs and groups who help deserving athletes
* race organizers who try as much as possible to make their races affordable so that those who are talented but cannot prioritize spending on races will have a chance
* businesses who sponsor as much as they can, and are also encouraging their employees to join runs and other sports by sponsoring them
* athletes itself who continuously work on improving their selves despite of the uncertainty
* people on the sideline from race volunteers, marshals, photographers
* local government units for sponsoring barangay fun runs
* people on the race who can afford to pay registration fees (I do admit, I’m only able to race because I can afford to pay registration fee.) because nevertheless they are the ones who keep the “fun run” business which is somehow a help to these “elites ” — either for financial or experience gain or exposure or all.
Like in running, “Little steps still mean moving forward. Little improvement is still an improvement.” I don’t know how long has been the boom in running the Philippines, but I’d like to believe we’re moving forward with this little “sponsorship” in whatever form.
And as they would say that any great things take time. So I believe in time, these big company sponsorship will be pouring in just like with the basketball! I’m sure Condura and other popular race organizer entities like Runrio are keeping their tabs on this issue.
If it feels like it’s so slow, let’s remind ourselves that GREAT things take time. So for now, let’s CHEER on those unnamed / anonymous individuals, groups, businesses who are doing what they can to support the local athletes.
For one, A Runner Circle has ARC Racing Project who is supporting elite and passionate alike. And, for sure other running/sports-related businesses, and even other businesses outside running have their own sponsorship programs. (This reminds me to dig deeper into this.)
In my case, it’s that one local “elite” runner who has somehow keeps me pushing to write more about running.
I got my “sponsorship” experience with him, some time in the middle of last year. We met before in a race where he was sponsored and he won. Then, I met him again in another fun run, and I, being “chismosa,” asked him what was his plans for an upcoming popular race. He said that he trained and was ready for it, but he’s not yet register to it. He’s still looking for a sponsor. So I asked him about his previous sponsor, and he said that he did not know yet if they’re going to sponsor him.
So he asked if I’d be interested to sponsor him. I was hesitant at first because though the registration was not more than P500, but I was thinking how about his hydration, transportation fee, and other allowances for his training and others. I mean he’s supposed to race, he should be fully “geared” and “fueled.” At that rate, I certainly has no means to sponsor him.
So out of curiosity, I asked him how does sponsorship work. I was surprised when he told me that all I would do is pay the registration, and I could keep the singlet. He said nothing about other allowances.
So I gave him the registration fee and a few extra for a gel or two. And, I haven’t heard much from him after that. I think he got into top 3. (NOTE: This was the only time I sponsored. None after it.)
Every time, I felt like quitting of having to write all about running, I would just think of him! For now, it’s the most I can do to help people like him. And, I hope that any little effect it would bring to the running community would have a ripple effect to this country.
For that Korean guy who said that Filipinos do not love Philippines, I’m sorry to disappoint you. (Geez, how did this writing end about patriotism!)
I know there are probably more individuals or groups or businesses who have done more and remained unacknowledged (and they probably don’t need it), CHEERS to you!