Volleyball phenom Alyssa Valdez (center) teaches volleyball basics to Dagupan youth during the BVR Sandroots program held at Tondaligan Blue Beach in Dagupan City on April 8, 2018. (CIO photo by Arriel Fruelda)

DAGUPAN CITY – Volleyball star Alyssa Valdez played trainer and coach to 300 aspiring volleyball players of Dagupan during the BVR Sandroots training workshop held at the Tondaligan Blue Beach in Dagupan City on April 8.

Beach volleyball enthusiasts were not just able to learn volleyball basics but also had a chance to experience high intensity training from the “Phenom of Philippine Volleyball” herself and other BVR members and players.

Launched in 2016 by the Beach Volleyball Republic, the “Sandroots” program aims to introduce beach volleyball to the youth all over the country in hopes of peaking their interest in the sport and sparking a passion in them to continue learning it.

According to Alyssa Valdez, one of the program’s objectives is to make the sport accessible to those interested, saying: “One thing is really to give back. When we were kids, camps and training workshops like these were not readily accessible to everyone. We’re really happy to be able to do this now. And to pay it forward also, we’re looking forward to seeing the youth represent our country someday.”

Valdez also hailed Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez for her plans to localize BVR and its programs and objectives.

“We’re really happy because we really want to promote beach volleyball in the country. And one way of doing it is to promote it locally because great things usually come from small beginnings. So, we’re really thankful and blessed that there are people like Mayor Fernandez who continue to support BVR.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Fernandez hopes that the event will inspire more youth to take interest in sports, saying: “We hope this would inspire our youth to really get into sports. Congressman Christopher de Venecia and I are working together to make Dagupan a city of sports.”

Congressman Christopher de Venecia also praised the program’s objectives as it is geared at promoting both sports and tourism in the country.

“Nakakabilib yung kanilang advocacy to promote Philippine beaches and volleyball. Sports can contribute greatly to the wellbeing of the youth. It helps wean them off bad habits and dangers such as drugs. ” said de Venecia.

He also hoped that the youth will share what they have learned to their fellow children, saying: “What’s important is that you share what you learned to others. You have the responsibility to pay it forward and to pass it on.”

In line with their program, Ms. Valdez also urged aspiring players to always work hard.

“You don’t learn everything in a snap. It’s really a process. You really have to work hard. You also need to have good people around you so you know which path you’re going to take.” (Verdelle De Vera/CIO/Apr. 8, 2018)