Speaking in Project KKK’s ‘kwentuhan’ episode titled “What It Takes,” Former Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles captain Bea De Leon revealed yesterday that love and grit were her ingredients to being a successful student-athlete.
De Leon, Finals MVP of the UAAP Season 81, cited a poem by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ which inspired her to keep going despite her struggles.
“Love was encapsulated by a saying for me. It says, ‘Falling in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything’,” shared De Leon.
The two-time UAAP Women’s Volleyball champion shared that love was a big factor in her volleyball success.
“For some people, it is the first time they hold the ball, the first time they spike and the first time they score…For me, I fell in love with the adrenaline, the competition, the intensity of the whole thing,” said De Leon.
“The second part is staying in love and this is where it gets pretty tough…This time, I was nursing an injury so the hard part for me was after morning trainings sasabihin ko na ‘okay nice, nag-survive ako’. Pero iisipin ko rin na kailangan ko na naman siya gawin a few hours later,” she added.
De Leon also stated the importance of grit in the context of her challenges as a varsity player.
“I think the best way to define ‘grit’ is to answer this question, ‘What’s the hardest part about being a student-athlete?’. For me, the hardest part about being a student-athlete is that it required the best from you every day,” said De Leon.
De Leon, who was formerly a national team member, emphasized that having a bigger inspiration other than just playing sports helped her work through the pain of injury and leading her team into winning last year’s UAAP title.
“The question now is ‘what will make you different?’. Well for me, the third point is having something bigger and having something bigger means seeking God,” she added.
Aira Lagua, one of the event facilitator and a basketball player from AdDU, stated in one of her reflections during the webinar that she felt inspired listening to the talk of her volleyball idol just like other athletes whose fan of the former Lady Eagle skipper.
“Feel ko kasi kung fan ka talaga tapos yung idol mo ang naga-speak, kahit anong sabihin niya para sayo is it’s inspiring. Parang ganun yung na feel ko,” expressed Lagua.
Initiated by the Mindanao Peace Games (MPG) through the three Jesuit schools in Mindanao, the Ateneo de Davao (AdDU), Ateneo de Zamboanga (AdZU) and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Project KKKK or Kalaro, Kaibigan, Kasama, Kakwentuhan conducts a weekly hour-long ‘kwentuhan’ to gather and reconnect athletes and allow them to share and interact online amid the health crisis.
The program concluded its three-month weekly webinar talks yesterday and the organizers plan to conduct for more series in the next months to come to continue giving inspirational and motivational talk to the MPG athletes and coaches.