The following is Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco’s speech during the opening of Urdaneta City Athletic Association (UCAA) 7th season Mayor’s Cup that was held at the Urdaneta City Sports Complex on August 18, 2011.
The congresswoman inspired all the mighty and towering athletes and participants from the different universities and colleges within the city.
She was invited as the event’s guest speaker and all through her discourse, she focused on unity.
UCAA 7th Season Opening
Speech by: Kimi S. Cojuangco
Pangasinan 5th District Representative
Before I begin, let me just thank you all for granting me the opportunity to speak here today at Urdaneta City Athletic Association’s 7th season. This season, we will see fifteen different colleges competing in a variety of sports. I am honored to be here and witness the opening to what promises to be a very exciting season.
More than just a form of exercise, sports teaches the players a wide range of values that transcends the court. Through sports players learn how to work together and bring out the best in each other. It provides an environment for healthy competition. It teaches us determination and commitment, to keep pushing ourselves towards our goal, fighting against all odds. We learn to never give up, even if all seems lost, we keep on fighting. But one of the most important things we can learn from sports is unity.
When I say unity, I am not limiting it to a unity between the players of a team, but to everyone in a game from the players to the audience. This unity works in different levels. When attending a game, different people from all walks of life are brought together. They may have different backgrounds, different beliefs, and different opinions, but they are still able to share in a common experience. For a period of time, people are able to put aside their differences and come together as one. Take for instance the recent Philippine Azkals game against Kuwait. Hundreds of people flocked to the Rizal stadium in Manila to cheer and show support for our team. In that moment, there were no Christians, no Muslims, no rich and no poor. For that moment they were one body, united as Filipinos, cheering for its country.
But there is more to it than just that. In any team, we know that not all members are equally skilled. One may be faster and the other a better shot. For a team to work, they must understand and accept all aspects of their teammates. They must accept both strengths and weaknesses, seeing one another as integral parts of the team. Likewise, the players of the opposing team must be viewed and treated in the same way. Strip away the colors of their jerseys and you see that they are the same, both aiming for the same goal. It is this attitude of acceptance that must transcend the court. If people can accept one another despite their faults and see the person’s worth, things would be much better.
Determination, commitment, understanding, acceptance, unity. All these values are pivotal in our lives. When we come together in sports we leave our differences behind and share in a common experience, a common desire. Who’s to say we can’t do this in our day to day lives?
Just as sports can teach us many valuable lessons, always remember that they are also great fun. Whether with friends or family, memories are made and relationships grow stronger through this shared experience. As the season goes on, stand together and cheer for your school, but more importantly, stand together in your love for the game and take with you that unity you share. To all the colleges competing this season I wish you the best of luck. Play strong, do your best and most of all have fun. This 7th season of the UCAA looks to be a promising one, and I am looking forward to it. Thank you. /loejan
Congresswoman Cojuangco installs new UCAA 2011-2012 OFFICIALS