Marathon Queen Tabal’s ‘Shoes of Joy’ give PADS members’ a morale boost
CEBU CITY, Philippines — For the beneficiaries of the “Shoes of Joy” of Cebuana Olympian Mary Joy Tabal, it was more than just receiving a brand-new pair of shoes.
For the Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS), Tabal’s donation of 120 pairs of brand new running and training shoes helps their goal to preserve the dignity and increase the self-esteem of their athletes, who are mostly persons with disability (PWDS).
“Our goal at PADS is to preserve the dignity and increase the self esteem of our athletes while training and playing the game that they love through our sports program,” said PADS team manager JP Maunes.
Tabal with the help of her sponsors and the Naval Forces Central Command or NavForCen organized a charitable activity dubbed as the “Shoes of Joy” earlier today, Friday, June 4, 2021 at the latter’s naval base in Lapu-Lapu City.
The main purpose of the charitable activity is to help PADS’ dragonboat teams’ training by providing them proper training gear such as running or training shoes.
“We saw that most of our athletes were training barefoot and cannot afford to buy a pair of training shoes. Most of the time they get injured and hurt themselves during training,” added Maunes.
“This project by Olympian Mary Joy Tabal is a huge boost to the morale of every youth athlete of PADS. These initiative creates ripples of effect that if we only work together, no athlete will ever struggle in training,” he said.
“They will be empowered to train harder and enjoy the sport that they love regardless of their social and economic status in life. Sports is for all and we have seen this vision being achieved today. We are forever grateful,” he said.
Aside from the 120 pairs of shoes, Tabal also handed out other goodies such as food and training jerseys.
It’s not the first time that Tabal made such donations.
She also provided running shoes to her beneficiaries in her grassroots development and training program in running in her home in Barangay Guba.
She also donated 300 armchairs for Guba Elementary School in the highlands of Cebu City in 2016.
“I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I lived with it. I started from the bottom, and I knew how it feels to be a less fortunate. A kid who once dreamed to be someone they want to be. I want others to be inspired by you guys. Let this shoes bring you more power to propel forward,” said Tabal.
The 31-year old marathon queen is gearing up for the the Tokyo Marathon 2021 in October and the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Hanoi, Vietnam this November.
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