Cebuana sports moms: Finding balance in family and their passion
CEBU CITY, Philippines— Being a mom is already a daunting challenge. How much more if you are into sports? Well, it may not be new to see moms who have a sporty side, but nobody has dared to ask them how they have managed their time and attention to their family and their passion.
To find out, CDN Digital asked four Cebuana moms who have displayed exceptional dedication in both their families and their beloved sport which have made them very well known in their respective fields.
Meet respected volleyball coach Vilma Veloso of the Catmon Integrated School, renowned gymnastics coach Darlene Dela Pisa of the Ritmik Jimnastiks La Sugbo and University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, Cherry Mae Celocia, a bemedalled obstacle course race and fitness coach, and Aileen Guardo, Sambag I Barangay Captain who is also a long-distance runner and cyclist.
They will share their stories in being mothers and their passion for sports as we celebrate one of the most special ocassions every year, the Mother’s Day.
Vilma Veloso, 57
If you ask anyone in the local volleyball scene, they probably all know who Vilma is or popularly known as “Ma’am Vilma”. Veloso and her team in the sleepy town of Catmon in north Cebu are known for winning a grand slam in the Palarong Pambansa and winning five straight years in the National Milo Little Olympics.
Also, Veloso’s uncanny skills as a volleyball coach made Catmon known as a breeding ground for volleyball stars. She trained and developed Isabelle Molde and Justine Dorog of the UP Lady Fighting Maroons Volleyball team and Gretchel Soltones of the Petro Gazz Angels in PVL.
“It’s all about time management if you want to balance sports and being a mom.You need to spend quality time with your child,” said Veloso.
Veloso has one child, Zack Vilze, who now helms the head coaching job for Catmon Integrated School’s volleyball team. She is thankful that she passed the torch to no other than her son, who shared the same passion like her in volleyball.
“There are challenges also on being a mom and a volleyball coach. There were times that I wasn’t able to give enough attention to my son, but everything were fixed eventually. As a volleyball coach, I also treat my players as my children and they treat me as their mother. In fact, I’ve already taken care a lot of my players. I let them stay in my home. I kind of fostered them,” said Veloso.
Her message to fellow moms, “Never give up no matter what challenges come. Always think about the success of your child.”
Darlene Dela Pisa, 44
Coach Darlene (for most people) is also widely known in Cebu because of her vaunted gymnasts, especially her daughter, Daniela Reggie, the gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) rhythmic gymnastics event in 2019.
Dela Pisa had her fair share of common coaching problems with her gymnasts. However, the biggest challenge she had as a mother was when Daniela Reggie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was four.
“It was the worst and most difficult trial in my life as a mother. We asked ourselves why it happened to her, and where did she got the cancer. However, she’s already cancer-free, she’s completely healthy now. But I missed her so bad because she’s in Hungary right now training. She can’t come home yet because of the pandemic,” Dela Pisa said.
Dela Pisa has three children, but manages to divide her time equally as a mom and gymnastics coach.
“My children are also gymnasts, so most of the time, my entire family is with me wherever I go either in trainings or competitions. As a coach, there’s a difference on how I treat my gymnasts and children. Of course, my children weighs more,” added Dela Pisa.
Her message to her fellow moms out there, “If your child has problems, do not scold them right away. Find a way to talk to them sincerely to find out what they are really going through. Most parents react right away without asking questions. Kids nowadays have different mindsets compared to the previous generation, so they need more understanding.”
Cherry Mae Celocia, 30
Cherry stands not just like a mom to her son but also a dad. As a single parent, Cherry has experienced all sorts of hardships, but that didn’t limit her from pursuing her athletic career.
Cherry is a bemedalled obstacle course race competitor. She is also a runner who already completed countless running events locally and currently works as a fitness instructor.
However, being a mom is Cherry’s biggest challenge.
“Balancing sports and being a mom is very challenging at the same time very gratifying,” said Cherry.
“I’m a single mom. I have training schedule and other important things to do. Conflict of schedule is always the hindrance of giving quality time to my son. But at the end of the day, I’m able to manage my time and my priorities.”
Just like competing in races, Cherry also gives her 100 percent to her son.
“I have to do my best and give my full attention to my son everytime we’re together. It’s the same as I’m in a competition where I need to give my best to reach the finish line. Both are not easily done, but they’re all worth it,” added Cherry.
Cherry’s message to fellow moms on Mother’s Day, “Don’t forget to take good care of yourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Always focus o the positive side regardless of what happens. You are all the best and Happy Mother’s Day!”
Aileen Guardo, 46
There is always something great about moms who are into sports. They manage to beat lung-busting races and rides and not get tired of attending to their families and other errands. Aileen is one of them, the wife of Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo and the village chief of Sambag I.
Overseeing an entire village is already daunting enough, but Aileen manages to spend quality time with her three children and her husband. Making it more remarkable as she is an accomplished long-distance runner and cyclist, who have finished dozens of events already.
So, what is her secret? It is all about time management.
“It’s really a matter of time management especially that I’m also a public servant. I thank God that I have a very understanding kids who don’t demand that much of my time since they’re already grown-ups,” said Aileen, who eats a hundred-kilometer bike ride for breakfast.
For her, the toughest challenge as a sporty mom is waking up early in the morning with a full schedule for the entire day.
“You need to wake up early to prepare in the house for the kids, then go training after training, and I need to do public services for our barangay,” said Aileen.
“It won’t be that challenging if you spend your time wisely for each of your priorities. The downside is you’ll feel muscles are sore always,” she added.
Her message to all moms on Mother’s Day, ” Well, I just want to encourage all moms especially those (who) are in sports to just stay focused and fit. Always be mindful that a healthy lifestyle may also mean a healthy family. “
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