1001 Ate Cheska’s Basketball Workshop with Kuya Center
Written by: Ate Charmain Tan, External Vice President
This morning we headed to Kuya Center for a Basketball Workshop. Located in Cubao Quezon City, the center aims to transform street children to become responsible citizens God society. It provides a home for the boys where they are accepted and respected. The kids are taught discipline and to work hard. As we got to the center the kids were busy cleaning. They were mopping the floors and making sure things were in place at the center. The boys enthusiastically opened their gates and welcomed us in their home. These kids are always very friendly and cheerful as they are very appreciative of us spending time with them.
The sponsors for the day were Ate Cheska, Ate Chin, and their other friends from Mirriam College High School. They are members of their school’s basketball varsity team. They just a won a game against Assumption High School before arriving at Kuya Center. As basketball is one of the most popular sports in the Philippines, they wanted the boys of Kuya Center to get the opportunity to learn the sport better. We were joined by Coach Jet, Coach Chris, and his team for the workshop.
Before the start of the main activity, we introduced the volunteers to the children. They talked about their favorite food and subject. Adobo is still a popular dish and some of the favorite subjects were science and social studies. We then formed the kids into groups and asked the volunteers to join the children. They, in turn, got to know the children by asking them their favorite food and subject. The kids liked eating sinigang and ampalaya. Their favorite subjects were math and science.
After getting to know one another we played a Ball Relay game. Teams were given one ball each. They formed a line in pairs, starting with the kids then the volunteers at the end of the line. The pair had to put the ball in between them, go all the way to the end where we set up a cone, and come back. All pairs in the team had to finish and the first one that finished first got a point. Teams weren’t allowed to hold the ball to keep it in place. Another challenge of the game was we would give a different instruction where to put the ball per round. The first was in between each other, then we asked them to put the ball behind their backs so that the players were back to back. The kids got really excited as they tried to go as fast as they could. Some would drop the balls so the pair had to do it all over again. It was fun watching them walking backwards when the pairs were back to back. The kids and volunteers cheered for their teams but in the end Team Japan won the game.
We then did the Basketball Workshop. Kuya Jet started with some drills for the kids. They were divided into groups and each had his turn to learn the different skills. He started with footwork drills, like the high knee jog, and taught the kids some movements to increase their speed and agility. He taught them ball handling skills like dribbling and rolling one ball and dribbling another both at the same time. He then taught them passing and catching. Teams formed in lines and faced one another as they learned passing skills like chest pass and bounce pass. Lastly, everyone’s favorite, shooting. Each got to try shooting balls in the hoop. They had so much fun as everyone didn’t want to let go of the balls.
After the drills we played a game. We picked the older boys to join the game while the younger kids practiced on their shooting. The first team members were Ate Cheska, Ate Chin, and three boys of Kuya Center. For the second team, it was Kuya Von, Kuya Wayne, and three boys from Kuya Center. Teams were every competitive as they tried to outscore each other. The ates and kuyas were very encouraging as they gave opportunities to the kids to have the ball and shoot. Kuya Von’s team scored first but as the last few seconds of the game came, Ate Chin was able to shoot making it a tie. Coach gave them another 2 minutes of play but in the end the score was still tied.
Everyone was tired and sweating from the activities but it still did not stop the kids from being energetic. They were still trying to grab the balls and running around with them. As everyone needed a break we got to enjoy our adobo lunch with the kids. Children Clifford and Justin led the prayer and all the kids joined them in their prayer. We gave out cups to the winners of the game and the kids were so excited that they hurriedly filled the cups with water and used them at once. Ate Chin and her friends also gave out cool water bottles to the kids. Everyone was so excited as they picked their colors. The kids hugged and thanked the volunteers for giving them the opportunity to learn basketball. Ate Cheska and Ate Chin gave some advise to the kids on hard work. They said no matter how hard something is, as long as one has determination, then he will succeed. They also taught them the value of teamwork especially in the game of sports. As a high school coach once said, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”