Soccsksargen elementary tennis aces aspire of capturing grand slam
LAGUNA, Philippines - Team SOCCSKSARGEN may not be blessed with the best equipment or showered with the most rampant support, but they brought a simple mindset coming into the elementary boys tennis team competition: never stop playing.
Region 12's quartet of Vince Tugade (13, Kalawag Elementary School in Isulan), Mark Alfredirecto (12, Kind David Academy, Isulan) Nicol Gorospe (Notre Dame of Marbel University), and Janus Ringia (13, Koronadal Elementary School) cruised past the day-long battle to emerge as the champions of the 2014 Palarong Pambansa tennis gold medalists, besting 16 other teams in the competition and bagging their first-ever gold medal in recent memory.
The Cotabato region representatives kept playing their hearts out to book the monumental win.
"I told them they have to get the gold. That was our own goal, to get the gold. Whatever hindrance there is, I told them to keep playing," said their mentor May Gallano, who has been a tennis coach for 16 years.
Ringia, the team's leader, said they did not mind the absence of overwhelming support, allowance, or equipment. They were neither disturbed nor intimidated by the edge of the more privileged competitors.
Instead, they exerted sheer will and effort on the tennis court to grab the elusive gold.
"We just practiced really hard for this event. We were not intimidated even if the other teams have more support. We just wanted to play well," Ringia told Rappler.
The four tennis aces all fell in love with the sport at an early age, and went on to embrace it whole-heartedly. There was sustained interest because the boys wanted to make a name in the field of tennis.
"We wanted to play outside of our hometowns. And now that we've won the Palaro gold, we will not stop playing until we gain fame," added Ringia.
Ringia and his three other teammates are mere grade schoolers, but their eyes are already set on an ultimate goal: winning in a grand slam event.
Winning a crown in any of the prestigious tennis opens - US, Australian, French, and British - is their biggest ambition.
"I want to win a grand slam," exclaimed Ringia.
While it may sound too extreme an ambition at this point, the hard work and dedication oozing from the tennis boys might just turn that far-fetched dream into a reality they'll be proud of. - Rappler.com