Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A captivating "darling" sport

Sports can be captivating that when it sinks its teeth into us it never wants to let go. Take gymnastics for example, it is not called the “darling sport” for nothing. Odette Perlada and Gina Victoriano aren’t gymnasts. Far from it. They’re working moms who got into the management and business side of gymnastics because of their daughters. “Some of our friends invited us to send our girls to gymnastics class,” recalls Perlada who dabbles in real estate by day. “And it was a pleasant surprise to see how the sport increased all the girls’ strength, speed, agility, flexibility, and focus.”

They enrolled their daughters one summer and they were shocked at the appallingly poor facilities. Pooling their resources with three other parents, they purchased proper gymnastics equipment (“And we paid the right taxes too,” chimes in Victoriano who is a certified public accountant) and put up Gymnastics & Movement Center in 2003. They first operated their classes in Ateneo before moving to their current home at Celebrity Sports Club where they hold classes all year round including modules for the summer (classes begin March 31).

“Gymnastics isn’t a mainstream sport, but it’s a sport in which we Filipinos can excel because of our size and how lithe we are,” explains Victoriano.

“What’s gratifying also about it is when we see the reactions of the girl’s parents when they see their children perform,” relates Perlada who played tennis and volleyball back in her schooling days. “The moms have tears in their eyes when they say, ‘I didn’t know she could do that (like balance on a beam and perform a variety of routines).’ They get to know so much more about their child when they watch them perform.”

Kids who throw tantrums soon develop a form of maturity and get a massive dose of confidence where they are able to do things they previously couldn’t do. Perlada gushes, “Many of our parents report that their kids’ school teachers are amazed on their children’s newfound self-esteem and can-do attitudes that they’ve recommended to their friends to send their kids to gymnastics school.”

“Our student to teacher ratios are small (eight is to one) that allow for better and more hands-on teaching,” says Victoriano who also points out that they pay their national team-caliber coaches the best wages in the country.

“Even if my daughter is now in college, I’m still as passionate about the sport,” concludes Perlada. “It’s fulfilling not just for the kids but for us parents as well.”

The Gymnastics and Movement Center will begin classes on March 31, 2008 at the Celebrity Sports Club in Capitol Hills, Diliman, Quezon City. You may call 642-0122 or 725-4640 or 0926 339 8802 and 0917 886 6322 for inquiries and more details.

No comments:

Post a Comment