By Christian Renz Torres
They lug large water jugs in and out of the court. They sit by the players as they warm the benches; a sandwich at hand. They pour power drinks by the sip; rationing every drop to last the game. Everybody roots for the players, but these men and women often go unnoticed.
“As a new comer to [the Food Committee,] preparing for the committee has been [a] tricky subject since not only would you search for food that has the quality you need and the price you can afford, you would need to gather and organize enough manpower to deliver the food to your team,” John Linden Sia explained. The fourth year mechanical engineering student said that, because of budget constraints, the College of Engineering and Design (CED) food committee had to come up with a nutritional strategy to satiate the players without breaking the bank.
For Frank Cadorna, the head of the food committee for the College of Business Administration (CBA), planning is key. “Budgeting was the first thing we did. Before 2nd semester started, we already have the financial figures we need for this year’s Intramurals. We made sure that the funds, from the org fee of CBA students, will be used efficiently for the benefits of the athletes,” the junior accountancy student said.
For the College of Mass Communication (CMC), junior student Jarrah Sophia Saile said the college government and representatives have allocated funds from the student fees. “Sixra [among] games,” she said. “[It’s] sad, but at least there would be more food [allocated to the players.]”
So what’s on the menu for a typical athlete during the Intramurals? John said that for his college, the most recommended was pan de sal and banana. According to him, as the players progress through the games, “better food had been planned in order to supplement the additional burden upon [the athletes’] bodies while increasing their morale.”
For CBA, rice meals were provided for every game to increase intake of carbohydrates. “We will give them food that can boost and sustain their energy like banana, chocolate bar, and bread,” Frank said.
Nutrition cannot be skimped; not even for the smaller colleges like the CMC. According to Jarrah, the sandwiches the college provides the athletes contain egg and vegetables, sources of protein and fiber respectively. “Sandwiches, Gatorade, and bananas are always in the menu.” She also stated that the food committee adds one or two food requests—such as chocolate bars—for every game. “Para magana sila ug dula,” she said. (For the athletes to gain eagerness to play)
For Jarrah, she understands that the athletes, with all their training, cannot have the time to buy the food they need. “No one wants to play with an empty stomach.” Frank said that his college was improving the food committee all around—from timely food deliveries to the games to apt inventory control— so as not to let a player “leave the court hungry and unattended.” And for John, the food committee’s importance was simple: “Food. Food is love. Food is life.”