Filipino Olympians give “the biggest gift” to disadvantaged children

20 | 8 | 2019

The Philippine Olympians Association is using sport as a vehicle to drive social change in local communities and assist disadvantaged children.

Run by the POA and funded by the WOA’s Grants Programme, the monthly sports clinics invite children from across Metro Manilla to practice taekwondo, basketball and badminton. The children often come from difficult backgrounds, children who either live or work on the streets as “street children”, with little to no schooling and money to support them, and for whom sport is often a luxury. Through the clinics, the POA hopes to inspire the children to achieve as much as they can in life and offer them an outlet for enjoyment and activity.

Akiko Thomson Guevara OLY – a Filipino swimmer who competed at the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games – is one of the Olympians helping inspire the nation’s youth. Discussing the role, she said:

“Olympians have an immense responsibility - because of what they have achieved - to give back to their communities and inspire the next generation in their country. One of the biggest gifts you can share with others is your time and talents. The children who come to our clinics often have very little and I hope that, through this, we can give them important lessons in life.

“Funds from the WOA Grants Programme have enabled us to do this important work and provide assistance to hundreds of children in the Philippines. It is incredibly special.”

2019 WOA Grants Programme

The WOA Grants Programme empowers Olympians to deliver projects that serve the needs of Olympians and helps them to spread the spirit of Olympism in their countries, in line with WOA’s core mission.

  • Service to Olympians
  • Service to Society
  • NOA Development

Grants of up to $5,000 USD each are available to support Olympian-led projects that benefit Olympians or local communities. CLICK HERE to find out more important information.

Since 2016, WOA has given more than 120 grants to support NOAs worldwide. Projects have ranged from drowning prevention programmes in India and Lithuania, an Olympian-run community chicken farm in Zimbabwe, bringing sport to orphaned children in Malaysia and those affected by conflict in Colombia.