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Business Mirror : BBM-Sara UniTeam eyes sports to save children in Mindanao

News & Interviews
22 December 2021

By Business Mirror

ALARMED by reports that some 1.8 million youth in Mindanao are severely affected by the continuing unrest in the region, the BBM-Sara UniTeam said it will ramp up sports programs and other productive activities to keep children from violence and develop new athletes who would bring honors to the country.

Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and Vice Presidential bet Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte were reacting to a report by Save the Children Philippines, which says that in 2019 some 1.8 million young people from Mindanao were severely affected by the unrest in the strife-torn region.

The report added that many young people were injured, sickened and suffered psychological stress as a result of the conflicts, even as many of them were learning how to use guns at a very young age.

This developed as the BBM-Sara UniTeam encouraged Mindanao’s young people to redirect their attention and be active participants in sports development, physical fitness, social and cultural programs.

The tandem is convinced that the region can be a rich source of world-class athletes who only need to be motivated and properly trained for them to follow the likes of  Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial, who all brought honors to the country in last year’s Tokyo Olympics, all of whom are from Mindanao.

“We believe that to achieve peace in Mindanao, we have to provide the youth the opportunity to engage in sports and other similar activities so they can be inspired and have a direction in life,” the BBM-Sara UniTeam said.

According to the BBM-Sara UniTeam, in conjunction with the peace and order programs being undertaken by the government, the projects for impacted youngsters should be organized in order to focus their attention on constructive activities.

“Side by side with peace and order, there must be a program for the youth who are adversely affected by the Mindanao conflict,” the BBM-Sara UniTeam said. “It’s alarming to know that these kids already know how to handle a firearm—that’s where sports should come in.”

“Sports and education are the key,” the tandem added.

The BBM-Sara UniTeam also stated that it will create a super body exclusively dedicated to boosting grassroots sports programs in Mindanao, as well as building sports facilities such as basketball courts, soccer fields and gymnasiums.