Waiting Game

Veredictum

Though it tarries, wait for it.

Another end of season, another reason to wait and hope… again?

Read it right. Again. And, yes. Again. There will be more waiting to do season after season.

With UE’s more than twenty years of title drought in the banner sport, every Red Warrior has adopted the trend of accepting the fact that despite the loss there will always be a merciful tomorrow. Tomorrow like it always begins in the East.

Well, who would want to lose that school pride at the onset of UAAP clamor? Who would want that spirit dead at the peak of the athletic wars? Who would want the red shirts be outnumbered in a win-win battle?

Yet, until when? Up to when will UEans enjoy this waiting game? Up to when will Lualhati be proud despite our barely-breathing fate?

Obviously, the UE community is concerned with sports whenever the UAAP craze begins but how about the rest of the year? I have said this before and I’ll say it again. Battles do not begin on court, it starts on oneself.

We relish the energy as drum beats and cheers applaud in every game. But after the sound of an unwanted result, everyone dies down with the energy, and arrogantly judges the greenhorns and weaklings.

Enough with the ‘What’s new?’ attitude. If there are things to see in progress, I believe the University should give equal importance with both the ivory tower and sports scene.

Honestly, we’ll face the same fate, or worse experience a decline in our performance, when more important things are taken for granted.

Though supports are gateways to boost the confidence of our team, how will one expect a cager to play at its best when prime sports gears are deprived, when facilities are lacking?

Last year, the Physical Education (PE) building had its high-end retrofitting project to improve its resistance against earthquakes. Eventually, at the start of the school year, PE classes were held at the Theater. However, for the succeeding months, the University Gymnasium remained idle and stagnant hindering athletes as well as students to conduct game preparations at the fifth floor.

Even so, 23 of the sports events are not given enough priorities despite their long list of championship crowns and shiny medals. Even more, these teams endure their practices outside the University by travelling afar and renting venues. Also, many of them have share scholarships due to limited slots appropriated to the team.

Despite UE’s annual Tuition and Other Fees Increase (TOFI), progress inside the PE Department seems to be taken less seriously. Venues for sports events remain limited. Equipment are at second best. Proposals such as new facilities and improvements are in vain.

If TOFI are for the students, like they always say, then where does the Sports development fee go?

Ask athletes about their allowances, recent increases gave them a big relief in supporting their personal needs. However, with the vast recruitment wars, such incentives are low to compare with universities eying for competitive players. Sports politics are present, you know.

With these struggles, these players are indeed Warriors by heart. To many, money talk matters. Exposure is a must. University identity is to consider.

Consider this. If we are asking more from our athletes to step up and improve their finesse, we should also consider their needs, the increasing costs of equipment, comfortable venues and reliable coaching staff.

When Ateneo said it will be an ‘All out, All Heart’ UAAP season this year, they proved their worth as bearers of the theme. When De La Salle U set “Where Heroes are Made” as last year’s motif, they promoted raising prominent stalwarts in the sports industry. When Far Eastern U themed season 72 with “One color, One goal” they knew in themselves that it is not just the pride shirts that should be one in color, but their spirit as a school.

These universities are not different from us. And of course, these themes are not only addressed to varsities but also to the participating universities, US.

But then again, do we really know this? Do we even care? I know most of us do and apparently hesitate to act on it. Fellows, we need not be just only listeners of what we hear but more of a doer.

Don’t leave it there hanging, or think that it’s a pain in the neck, or that we lack budget. Work it out.

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