Di Maria - How popular is wrestling in the Philippines?
Diao - Wrestling is not that popular if you compared it to basketball (the Philippine's most popular sport) and football (2nd most popular). Although it's gaining grounds in the past years due to its inclusion in the annual Department of Education National Games (Palarong Pambansa) and the 15yrs old and Under National Finals (Batang Pinoy). In our, City Wrestling was introduced last October 2016 and we organized it into a Club last January 2017.
Di Maria - What are the requirements for wrestlers to be part of the club?
Diao - The main requirement is the willingness to be trained and must allocate his or her time to train with the team 3 hours every day for 6 days a week.
Di Maria - How long have you guys been open?
Diao - Our club was formally organized last January 2017 with only a handful of students (6 wrestlers).
Di Maria - What strategies do you use to raise funds for the club?
Diao - The club right now is currently supported by the local government unit of Bayawan City under the leadership of Mayor Pryde Henry A. Teves (a sports enthusiast and Combat sports practitioner) and most of our funding comes from the Sports Office of the City Government. Other needs of the players that are not supported by the City Government like supplements, wrestling shoes and singlets (not all kids were provided by the City Government due to budget constraints), and foods were donated by small businesses and individuals.
Di Maria - Are having good grades and attending school something you emphasize on?
Diao - It is the utmost importance that they maintain good grades and most of the current wrestlers are achievers and honor students. we always check on their school attendance and grades form time to time and if we found out that they have low grades we asked some volunteer teachers to tutor our players and if still they did not change we asked them to take a leave from wrestling for 1 to 3 months in order for them to focus on their studies until such time they get their good grades back.
Di Maria - How do you deal with kids that can't pay for the club's service?
Diao - The good thing about our club is that we are free and anyone can join without paying a single centavo. This is all because of the grassroots sports program of the City Government under the leadership of Mayor Henry Teves and Tom Opeña the sports coordinator.
Di Maria - Will you guys be sending wrestlers to the Asian Games?
Diao - That's one of our plans that someday we will be sending one of our own to compete to the Asian Games. For now, we are now in the process of molding and preparing them to be one.
Di Maria- How comfortable are the Tri-Titans singlets you guys are now rocking?
Diao - Wrestling singlets here in the Philippines is not easy to get one and most of the time we tend to order singlets that were made in India and Pakistan. But when we manage to get a chance to order the Tri-Titans singlets through Coach Eljay Peña it was a blast the kids love it and they told me it is very comfortable and the way it was sewn was superb. We recommend it to all other clubs and the price was affordable also.
Di Maria - What is the goal of the club?
Diao - The main goal of the club is to produce national and international caliber wrestlers, but we always teach them that education must work hand in hand with your wrestling career. Wrestling changes everyone's lives and I can say that these kids have a very bright future ahead of them.
Di Maria - How can people reach out to you and help the club?
Diao - They can reach me out through my email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our club and players are currently in need of wrestling shoes, singlets, and training equipment. For we are now on the 1st phase of expanding our club to the mountain villages so that the kids in those areas will have the chance to train and wrestle without traveling far.