Melbourne, FL. – Filipinos in this city of the sunshine state gather to become a community through sports, quiet a unique way of unifying itself as a growing organization of Filipino-Americans.
“It all started in 2012, when my husband and his friends gathered to play basketball as a way to relax from work and exercise. From there, we realized we could organize our community through sports,” said Jane Hernando, the main organizer of the group and now vice president for the Space Coast Pinoys (SCP).
The SCP celebrated its fourth year a few days before Valentine’s Day with the traditional awarding of its excellent athletes and a fundraising party. According to SCP president Eric Sison, the group will venture in a much widely participated sports fest this year which will be Olympics-inspired where various sports will be held in a single, huge arena.
“We reach out to individuals and through families, especially because we tap in the young athletes. Our youngest is 7 years old. It is a great way of strengthening the community, involving the family through sports,” Sison said.
The SCP formal event was held at the Holiday Inn Viera, with the Hollywood-inspired red carpet entrance and star recognition for athletes.
The athletes of 2017 are:
Gracielle Gan for volleyball, badminton, and running
Jonathan Padriga for basketball
Dolly Parguian for badminton, cycling, and running
Jeff Salinas for marathon and triathlon
Cody Tyler Cumberland for basketball and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Emma Lehua Agcaoili for basketball, Taekwondo, and wrestling
Young athletes Emma Agcaoili and Cody Cumberland said that focus and a lot of practice make them winners in their sports. “You have to practice everyday,” quipped Agcaoili who is 12 years old and a champ in basketball, Taekwondo and wrestling.
The team of OSM! and GetReel TV covered the event, truly a lovely escape from New York’s brutal winter cold.
OSM! publisher and executive editor Marivir Montebon gave the inspirational message during the gala after her 15-minute film documentary Out of the Shadows was shown as the featured film.
(Featured photo by Maganda Pics is 12-year-old champ Emma Agcaoili with father Greg and SCP President Eric Sison. Photos and videography by Leani M. Auxilio; Digital production by Melissa D. dela Cruz)