It has been said that every journey begins with a single step. For many aspiring Filipino athletes over the years, those steps were taken in the Alaska Power Camps. Conceived by Alaska as a means to address the growing health issues faced by those growing up in an increasingly technological environment, the Power Camps, under the direction of the best coaches in the country introduce children as young as 5 years old to the positive benefits of an active lifestyle. Beginning with Basketball, the Power Camps soon included Football and, most recently, Volleyball, the Alaska Power Camps have fostered a love of sport in thousands of children, producing the likes of basketball prodigy Kobe Paras and national football team players Aly Borromeo and Freddy Gonzalez.
Yesterday, media and invited guests gathered at the Holiday Inn Makati for the press launch of this year’s Power Camps, as well as to meet the professional athletes who would be heading up this year’s programs. In attendance were Alaska Marketing Director Blen Fernando, along with Power Camp Football Director Tomas Lozano, Power Camp Volleyball Director Michelle Gumabao and Alaska Sports Development General Manager Richard Bachmann.
Following a short introduction, the sports directors, Ms. Fernando and Bachmann took time to give statements, sharing their hopes and plans for this year’s Power Camps before taking questions from the audience.
Bachmann, in particular expressed his intention for the Power Camps to have active programs all-year round, giving more children the opportunity to take part. He also cited the possibility of post-Power Camp tournaments where the children could put the skills they’d learned into practice.
On the football side, Lozano was optimistic for the sport’s growth in the country being borne from introducing children to it from a young age, going so far as to say, “There’s a big future of football in the Philippines. In five, ten, fifteen years, football will be at the same level as the rest of Southeast Asia – it’s only a matter of time. We can’t stop growing, we have thousands of kids, hundreds of clubs, the growth is there.”
3-time UAAP Women’s Volleyball champion Gumabao spoke to PlayPH on the importance of passion and dedication from the side of the coaches in inspiring the Power Camp participants, saying, “A lot of people want me to have coaches who are popular, but I don’t want the kids to suffer from that. In all my coaches, you can see an equal passion to teach.”
In addition to honing their skills and building up their abilities, Ms. Fernando shared that, Alaska had been successful in overcoming obstacles and mindsets with regard to which sports children of any gender could participate in. Furthermore, she said that the core of any Alaska Power Camp was their dedication to immersing participants in the values of discipline, hard work, determination, sportsmanship, and teamwork to guide their development on and off the playing field.
This year, with a larger, more expansive program in store, dedicated coaches, and more participants than ever before set to take part, the Alaska Power Camps’ ongoing reputation as the home of athletes’ first steps is secure.
For more information and schedules of the Alaska Power Camps, visit www.alaskapowercamp.com. For inquiries, please call 840-4500 local 205 or 209 and look for CK Kanapi-Daniolco, Sports Development Group.