• The youth is our light



    The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) has managed to sustain its grassroots development program since its birth four years ago, catering to swimmers aged five to 28.

    God is our light and PSL is developing our youth to be our light, to be in a righteous path.

    We build a swimming community to change lives and build a nation with the help of God who gives light to our youth.

    The youth is our future and PSL is into transformation. We unify coaches, parents and swimmers and live according to the dictation of the Holy Spirit.

    Recently, PSL found a young swimmer.

    It was a sunny Saturday morning. Everyone was busy doing warm ups for the 82nd Philippine Swimming League (PSL) National Series dubbed as the 3rd El Presidente Swimming Meet held in Rawis, Legazpi City.

    It was our third straight year doing competition in Bicol Region as we are looking for swimmers who will represent our country in several international competitions, including the Summer World University Games to be held in Taipei, Taiwan on 2017.

    While monitoring some 200 swimmers doing land exercises, a little girl approached me and said, “Hi, I want to swim.”

    I answered immediately, “What is your name?”

    The little girl replied “Hannah, I am two years old.”

    I told her I don’t have a category for two years old. “You know what? I will make a special event for you. You cross the 25-meter pool and I will award you a medal.”

    Hannah nodded and said “Okay, thank you” and proceeded to the other end of the 10-ft. deep pool of Mariner’s Polytechnic Colleges Foundation.

    She bravely dove into the pool after hearing the buzzer and everyone was cheering for Hannah. She was indeed the darling of the crowd, and a lot of swimmers wanted to take pictures with her.

    PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa was waiting and cheering for her at the other end of the pool. She gave Hanna the medal.

    For the record, this young promising tanker was the youngest participant that ever graced our PSL National Series.

    Hannah is the youngest among the White siblings. Her sister Heather and brother Ruben were regular competitors of the PSL National Series.

    Their mother is a Filipina and their father is from England.

    PSL found another light, aged two, for our future.

    Meanwhile, 30 young swimmers competed in the Singapore Invitational Midget Meet recently and PSL competed against China, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei.

    Our team was composed of veterans and newcomers.

    Michaela Jasmine Mojdeh, a nine-year-old from the Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Parañaque and a multi-gold medalist in the Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge, and Marc Bryan Dula from Weisenheimer Academy-Parañaque led the team along with Aubrey Tom and Rafael Lentejas 3rd.

    We won three golds, four silvers and three bronzes.

    I am extremely happy because we tripled our medal standing from last year, which is one gold, one silver and one bronze.

    PSL is bound to develop great young swimmers with good character and attitude. They must develop their character within themselves through their hearts and attitude according to the situation.

    Besides the four veteran tankers, the other members of the team were Ethan Gabriel, Asha Segotier, Julyianna Calibjo, Khrystian Tan, Michael Samaniego, Rodjohn Cuasay, Julia Basa, Chloe Laurente, Rex Dela Cruz Jr., Alexa Larrazabal, Amdre Dela Cruz, Mikyla Guzman, Tiffany Sanchez, Gian Banas, Morie Pabalan, Louise Famanilla, Venice Villarasa, John Bautista, Victor Cabrera, Chelsea Pastolero, Nicole Camacho, Janine Consul, Justin Badion, Allen Conda, Joshua Camacho and Prince Angeles.

    Many wonder how PSL sustains its grassroots developmental program with no funds for our swimmers. The clear answer is direct relationship with God. PSL receives love, we give love and repeat. Receive love, give love and repeat, and so PSL survives.

    PSL is blessed, the greatest love that we receive is the love from God.

    Yes, it is extremely difficult, because PSL’s relationship with the youth is extended to adults, particularly the parents of young swimmers.

    It is extremely challenging and yet the blessings pouring into PSL gets the empowerment from above.

    PSL educates, motivates and disapproves the negative energies so that positive current prevails at all times. We affirmed all the good things happening, and thank God for all the grace, wisdom, courage and strength received.

    As PSL swimmers get better and better with their performances, they are also in parallel on becoming good athletes. They must also train on becoming good persons — good in character and attitude.

    Their character is molded within themselves, while attitude comes out as the situation arises. And that is what FESSAP is all about. Being with FISU, being with the world is how PSL prepares these young kids going to Universiade – an Olympic-like event for college students where they compete with the best athletes, the likes of Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Yao Ming and others.

    This is PSL and we owe it all to our almighty God.


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