Why Bother with Sports?

Article by: Georgina Pekin

Photograph by: Jinny Park

With just under 20 different varsity sports teams that exist throughout the year, as well as all the various middle school teams and activities that are outside of ATAC (Athletics and Activities), ISM is a very sports-oriented school. Each season, Bearcats compete in IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools) tournaments, sweat it out at Battle of the Bearcats, and compete against rival schools in events like Friday Night Lights. As a school, we take great pride in our athletic teams, and all come together to create a great sporting atmosphere each season when an average of 80 students are sent off to compete in IASAS. With high school sports being completely optional, and for the most part irrelevant to academics, some may wonder what is the point of joining a sports team? Why do students choose to play sports, and are there benefits greater than just winning medals? Four high school students from different teams, grade levels, and genders have given Bamboo Telegraph insights into why they choose to play sports, and the impacts of sport in other aspects of their lives.

Junior, and varsity volleyball and track & field athlete, Isabel Lapus, reveals, “Sports has really helped me become more confident in terms of leadership skills. As an upperclassmen, you make it a point to look after and mentor the younger players. A boost in confidence also helps you a lot in school, whether it be presenting in front of your class, in assembly, or during an interview.” Many athletes also confirm that involvement in sports teams enhances leadership skills, perseverance, and collaboration, transferable to other areas of their lives. Freshman, Ali Preysler, also added “Sports has helped me relax when I’m stressed, and has also helped me stay fit and make new friends.”

While playing a junior varsity or varsity sport takes great commitment, perseverance, and motivation not to give up; this concept also translates to academia. To find out more, we also asked athletes what keeps them motivated to keep training, and reaping the many benefits of athletics. Philippine National Football Team member, varsity soccer and track and field athlete, Josh Miller, confessed, “I want to play and train all I can until the day I won’t be able to anymore.” Being in high school means we are young and healthy, and many students are seizing the opportunity to be active through high school sports. Senior, and varsity basketball athlete, Nathan De Villa, told Bamboo Telegraph that he is motivated by the will to be the best he can be. “No matter how much I have improved in something, I always keep in mind that I can be better at something else. Nobody is perfect and nobody will ever be, but you can always keep getting better”.