From kids to teens to adults – people of all ages gathered at Ateneo de Davao University Matina Campus last Aug. 20-21 for the Davao branch of the Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp.
Already in its sixth destination since its foundation last May, it continues to spread volleyball knowledge in different cities across the Philippines.
Aspiring volleyball players and volleyball enthusiasts learned from Alyssa Valdez herself along with her fellow Ateneo players Ella De Jesus and Jamenea Ferrer; University of the Philippines’ Joyce Palad, as well as former Adamson Lady Falcons skipper, Angela Benting, for this leg of the skills camp.
In an exclusive interview, according to the former Queen Eagle, the skills camp was founded as a way of giving back to the fans and supporters. She also added that they wanted to help the aspirants achieve their dreams in volleyball through the values learned in the sport.
Moreover, in response to the campers’ warm welcome, determination, and interest to learn, the former Ateneo volleyball player was happy and thankful.
“It’s really overwhelming na ganito yung pagtanggap sa amin ng mga taga-Davao, hindi lang in terms of volleyball, pero nagulat kami na ganyan din yung kagustuhan nilang maging isang volleyball player talaga. And, you know, as volleyball players also, yun lang din naman ang gusto naming makita, yung fire and desire nila to be a volleyball player and to be a good student also,” she added.
De Jesus also expressed her sentiments regarding her experience with the campers.
“Sobrang saya kasi iba-iba yung mga na-meet naming mga tao tapos iba-iba yung age group – may sobrang bata, may sakto lang, tapos meron ring mga mommies. So nagulat kami at first pero sobrang happy namin na yun nga, kahit yung mga doon na sa age na yun, gusto pa ring matuto ng volleyball,” she said.
Ferrer furthered that they were happy to be able to bring the camp in Davao.
“Siyempre sobrang saya namin kasi nadala namin yung volleyball [camp] dito sa Davao, lalo na alam namin yung mga tao dito, sobrang supportive nila [sa volleyball]. And marami ring mga athletes na galing din dito, like mga teammates namin dati – si Mae [Tajima], si Maddie [Madayag]. So sobrang saya namin kasi nakapagturo rin kami dito,” she added.
Davao campers were just as delighted as the coaches.
Necca Imasa, one of the participants of the skills camp, said that it was a fun experience, with the coaches being hands-on in teaching the campers.
“Iniisa-isa nila [turuan] yung hindi marunong and then sine-separate nila yung marunong and hindi marunong. Then focused din sila [in teaching us]. It was very good,” she said.
The Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp was organized in partnership with Crosscourt PH and PLDT Home Ultera.