The latest census data places the youth sector as the biggest demographic in the Philippines, with under-18-year-olds comprising almost 40% of the population. Youth-centric programs such as organized sports have become increasingly important, especially since children nowadays have as much as 9 hours less free time compared with 25 years ago.
Numerous studies have shown that early involvement in sports not only has a positive impact on physical and mental health, it also enhances cognitive function, memory, concentration, behavior, and academic achievement. Up to 24% of the difference in academic achievement can be attributed to participation in a physical activity. The environment, athletic curriculum and a program that optimizes the benefits of sports are key determinants on how sports involvement can affect a child.
MILO has long been an advocate in involving children in sports at an early age, as well as in discovering and developing local talent. Its organized sports activities have proven themselves to be positive environments where children gain confidence, practice teamwork, and imbibe values that stay with them for life.
Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA) gold medalist MVP and MILO Ambassador, Princess Gaiser is a primary example of how sports positively affects a child. Gaiser has been involved in sports since the 3rd grade, and has earned gold medals at the Palarong NCR and the WNCAA , even bagging the Most Valuable Player award for the latter. But it’s the values that she has learned that keep the young champ grounded. “Learning values like discipline and perseverance through volleyball at an early age has helped me deal with the pressure of having others look up to me as an inspiration. In fact, my experiences in sports and as a MILO ambassador push me ever forward to attain greater heights,” says Gaiser.