The United States Embassy in the Philippines, along with Geraldine Bernardo, an alumna of the US government’s Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP), hosted American volleyball coach Eric Hodgson for a series of volleyball clinics and outreach activities with students all over the Philippines.
As part of his two-week visit, Hodgson held volleyball clinics with approximately one thousand students and 300 teachers in Manila, Baguio, and Cebu. Additionally, with the help of GSMP alums Paralympic powerlifter Adeline Dumapong and JP Maunes, CEO of Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc., he also taught sitting volleyball to students with disabilities in Baguio and Cebu. At each school, center, and institution Hodgson visited, the US Embassy donated volleyball equipment to ensure that students and teachers could keep practicing even after the clinics were over.
Sports bring people together and teach leadership, teamwork, and communication skills that help young people succeed. As Hodgson said, “Sports empower people and can change lives. Many of the persons with disabilities I worked with this week never dreamed of playing volleyball, and it was amazing to see their confidence grow throughout the workshop. The confidence and teamwork skills they gained will go far beyond the volleyball court.”