Youth of all abilities deserve opportunities to feel included, enjoy a bright start in life, and reach their potential. While no one will dispute this idealism, it is also true that inclusive youth development programs remain wanting in underprivileged communities, where it is most needed. Fortunately, however, a number of enlightened LGUs and private firms like sportsbook OKBet have begun quietly coming together to help harness the capacity of young people – even the differently abled ones – towards personal and societal progress.
In General Santos City, on the sidelines of the ongoing Tuna Festival celebrations and the exciting Mindanao games of the OKBet MPBL 4th Regular Season (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League), representatives of Mayor Lorelie Geronimo-Pacquiao and OKBet huddled away from the spotlight for a wheelchair donation during a simple ceremony at the lobby of the General Santos City Hall.
OKBet handed over 10 wheelchairs to the City Government, in support of the LGU’s human mobility and people inclusivity program. OKBet said the donation was aimed at helping the beneficiaries, especially disabled youths, gain an improved sense of personal independence and access more development opportunities.
“Extending aid to GenSan’s wheelchair outreach program is very much consistent with OKBet’s CSR efforts and we are just so thankful for the opportunity to help. I think people who never have to use a wheelchair to move around have little idea of how liberating it is for a person with disability to own a wheelchair. This is especially true of young beneficiaries. They desire to be active, productive, and reach their life’s dreams. And that’s something OKBet will always support,” OKBet representative, Kristina Muniz said.
Following its recent accreditation from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) as one of the country’s major sportsbook companies, OKBet has vowed to heavily contribute to the government’s youth development program as a corporate citizen.
Another LGU initiative supported by OKBet was a basketball sports clinic organized by the OKBet Sarangani Marlins in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Sarangani, to discover and train young local hoopsters who show promise of becoming sports professionals someday.
Spearheaded by the OKBet Sarangani Marlins, MPBL, and Ekxinum Inc., in collaboration with the provincial government led by Gov. Rogelio D. Pacquiao, the sports clinic attracted 70 hopeful participants to the Sarangani Provincial Gymnasium in Alabel town.
Aged 9 to 14 years old, mostly from Alabel and nearby municipalities, the young participants had a field day showing the coaches and members of OKBet Sarangani Marlins, what skills they possess.
“Seeing their energy and enthusiasm for the sport, their youthful optimism, makes all the effort that went into organizing the event, all worth it. I’d say they have the makings of future sports stars if they continue with their training. They are inspiring and they give fans of Philippine sports something big to look forward to in the near future,” Muniz said.
Having seen first-hand the promising, amateur sports talent in Sarangani and in other places across the country where OKBet has ongoing LGU partnerships, the sportsbook firm said it is now firming up plans to further scale up its programs for grassroots athlete development and hold these on a nationwide scale.