Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Celebrating Youthful Strides

By Zarelle Glen Dorothy A. Villanzana | March 5, 2024

The Silliman University Intramurals games showcase a variety of student-turned-athletes. There are the retired varsities who revive their skill to honor their departments, and there are those who are just starting to venture into sports for the sake of trying. Others train their hardest, vying to secure that sweet spot at the top of the ranks. Meanwhile, others train just enough to keep them conditioned for their selected games. 

Smaller colleges usually have the mindset of the latter.

Divinity School, as small and humble as their college is, shows up on the court against bigger departments, unfazed. On the third game of the second day, they go up against the youthful Senior High School for women’s volleyball.

Sharing almost the same colors of their jerseys, the team of teal displayed more sharpness in play and rapid reaction time compared to the team of ombre blue. However, this did not mean an easy win as Divinity School certainly kept their defenses up as much as they could. 

Teams vying for championships would have certain strategies to beat their opponents. For Divinity School, it seemed they had only one strategy: to have fun. It was later on in the first set when Susan entered the back row, beaming with excitement. On the Monapil court, she played with a smile on her face, huddling with her teammates each time they gained a point.

Susan Almario is a 55-year-old student from Silliman University Divinity School, joining her first and last college intramurals as an athlete. Majoring in Pastoral Ministry, she is bound to graduate this 25th of May. In her team, she is welcomed as a mother, having four daughters, three grandsons, and one granddaughter. 

Despite what people may assume from these facts, she is filled with the same youthful glow that other younger players exhibit.

“My goal for intramurals is to enjoy and have fun with the young kids,” she said, having joined other sports such as women’s basketball and chess. She admitted that she was an athlete in her younger years in track and field and softball in addition to her current team sports.

When questioned about her intramural experience and whether there should be accommodations made for students her age, she said there is no need. “They are welcoming me and I don’t hear some comments, but they are happy to see that I am enjoying the game.”

“My goal is to have fun, [and] participate in this opportunity to have games with each other,” she said, as she did prepare a lot, jogging every morning with her men’s basketball team. 

“When I saw the Senior High [School department], they are always practicing,” she said. “[But] the members of Divinity are not like the other departments,” emphasizing how it isn’t their focus to win.

While the intramurals may mean differently for every athlete, they collectively show one factor: the youth manifested in the capacity to move. Not only is the university-wide event a showcase of students’ strengths and skills, but it is also a celebration of good health—that every student remains physically active and capable of using their body to how it was designed to function, regardless of age.

College does not have an age restriction, and the university-wide intramurals certainly have none either.


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