Universal Sports Promotions, a social enterprise, recently launched its inaugural sporting event for kids, a 2-day basketball clinics and games for 14 years old and below at the Astrodome, in Tacloban City, the regional capital of Eastern Visayas and Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar, with NBA talent development expert, veteran coach and international scout, Gary Boyson as special guest, from June 3-4, 2023.
“We take pride in spearheading trailblazing projects. So when we got the chance to invite an international personality with NBA track record, to visit Samar and Leyte and conduct mentorship for young basketball players, we know that we are creating unprecedented move and providing ripples of hope, that will benefit young basketball players in the region”, MaryJane Salomon, it’s founder and CEO was quoted.
“With our vision and mission, to support promote and develop sports, from grassroots up, we are happy to provide additional platforms for children, pave the way for innovative and inclusive initiatives and make them accessible for them to achieve their full potential”, she added.
Universal Sports promotions is into curation, production and management of various sporting events such as basketball, marathon, cycling, boxing, regatta, amongst others and is into promotion of sports tourism as well.
“We would like to champion sports tourism in the country and make the Philippines as one of top sports tourism destinations in the world, offering a wide range of sporting activities and events, all year round, that cater to all types of visitors”, Salomon added.
The basketball event which attracted almost 500 kids from different parts of Leyte and Samar including Biliran, highlighted the importance of collaboration and significance of private led initiatives in pursuance of sports development, that is sustainable and scalable, in the countryside. It was supported by the city governments of Tacloban City and Catbalogan City, Department of Education Schools Division of Tacloban City, Department of Tourism, Hiraya Foundations, IFranchise Business Corporations and Stratoppo Global.
“As a sports advocate, it is important to promote the benefits of sports participation, diversity and inclusion in sports, the impact of sports in society, the role of sports in promoting mental health, and the need for sportsmanship and fair play”, she quipped.
It was a feat and special treat for those who joined, not just to those who went home with 20,000 pesos as championship prize + trophy , 10,000 pesos + trophy for the 2nd place and 5,000 + trophy for the 3rd place, for both Tacloban and Catbalogan players, medals and certificates were provided to everyone who participated.
“We are most especially grateful to Mayor Alfred Romualdez for his generosity of allowing us to use the Astrodome in Tacloban City, the premier basketball arena of the region and Mayor Dexter Uy for his kindness to making sure that opportunity will be afforded to the kids of Catbalogan City. Cooperation is key, to achieve more and do more. Indeed, sports serve as a unifying initiative and certainly what we did brought hope not just those kids but also to coaches and parents as well”, Salomon concluded.