Let me share with you an open letter I received from a noble woman – former Sen. Nikki Coseteng.
“Susan pasensya na kayong lahat if I have fallen short of your expectations!”
Seven years ago, I committed to support the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) in the best way I can considering my limited time, skills and resources. I was moved to tears of disappointment and anger after you and other coaches, parents and swimmers narrated your kilometric list of experiences that boil down to misery, hopelessness and desperation. I thought that we would collectively see the rainbow at the end of devastating calamities one after another. I thought all it needed was a little push and all would be well. After all these years, I see the gains, no matter how little, when it comes to government’s intervention, to see justice for those who have been trampled upon and destroyed. That could have pushed me to QUIT! I also saw the MIRACULOUS AND INFINITE PATIENCE, DEDICATION, COMMITMENT, PERSEVERANCE, SELFLESSNESS AND HIGHEST LEVELS OF SKILL AND ATTITUDE IN YOU, our coaches and parents and swimmers. I witnessed your giving up your time, resources, HEALTH and whatever wealth you have for the cause of swimming!
I felt the overwhelming support, big and small, material and moral from friends and family of all of us. I saw nationwide and worldwide the admiration and recognition of all for the successes of our swimmers. I felt the Invaluable support of media without asking for monetary compensation, to chronicle the achievements and tough work and struggles we had to go through. I saw you sleep on the floors of cheap hotel rooms, bringing your own mattresses, canned goods, rice and biscuits just to be able to send 50 swimmers to international competitions to expose our seven-year olds to foreign events and eventually BREAK RECORDS HELD BY OLYMPIAN GOLD MEDALISTS IN THEIR YOUNGER YEARS. I saw how you painstakingly deprived yourself of luxuries just to organize 117 competitions in the last 7 years.
I saw all of you under the heat of the sun as you found your way to the venues before 6 a.m. just to make sure that all goes well and dropping dead by 9 p.m. Getting by through the kindness of those who felt it was worth it to fry chickens or fish for the whole team. I saw how you went through sleepless nights despite your high blood pressure, diabetes, heart condition and all, just to make sure all events go through without a hitch.
I saw how in the few days before departure there would still be those without tickets or visas or pocket money and it would be such a struggle to even come up with travel tax payment because we were not granted exemptions. I saw how you would wait in the rain or under the sun just to get letters through to sports authorities only to have them returned because they did not want to receive letters from us. I saw how you sold food, t-shirts, bags and anything you could get your hands on just to raise money for tickets or entry fees. I saw how hearts broke because our swimmers invited to competitions were not allowed to participate because Mark Joseph said so. I saw how you were in tears when swimmers were stripped of gold and silver medals in Darwin, Australia, because they were accused of not paying P400 membership fee by Mark Joseph when they actually did. I saw how you took in swimmers to live and eat in your house and train them to be most outstanding swimmers wherever they compete. I saw how ungrateful swimmers and coaches treated you despite the breaks you gave them and after having provided their children the wherewithal to scholarships and experiences to compete here and abroad. I saw how sports officials who double-crossed you reneged on their commitments for support and allow PSL swimmers to try out for international competitions where most members of the national team fell flat on their faces. I saw how you strived to send swimmers and coaches for training abroad.
I saw how you struggled through the daily training routines of swimmers just to prepare them for the major competitions where they brought highest honors to our country.
Susan, you are one of a kind! No other creatures would do what you have done! The future of so many swimmers rests on your shoulders and I saw how you unbelievably stay informed and posted of the injustice and corruption committed by our sports authorities. I saw your vigilance in following through the legal labyrinth to ensure that justice due those who have been wronged by sports vampires see the light of day!! I saw how you drive despite your poor eyesight risking life and limb through storms to attend meetings and conduct seminars for swimmers and coaches.” (To be continued)