PDBF President Marcia Cristobal, meanwhile, thanked the media’s coverage of the team, as it has sparked a wave of support for them from both private and government sectors.
She also said ABS-CBN’s donation will go a long way, as the team will save a part of the amount for expenses in future tournaments.
Tremendous media attention and roaring fans greeted the dragon boat paddlers since they arrived from Tampa Bay, Florida, where they won five gold medals and two silvers in the recently concluded International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships.
After being stripped of their title as a National Team and consequently of any financial assistance from the government, the team almost never made it to the world championships in Florida.
In an interview with ANC anchor Bill Velasco, PDBF coach and drummer Annabelle Tario said support from private sectors started pouring in after the July 14 airing of Dyan Castillejo’s report in “Krusada,” ABS-CBN’s advocacy journalism program.
In the documentary feature, the “Sports Unlimited” anchor chronicled the plight, sacrifice, and devotion to the sport in order to represent the country. Due to the lack of financial support from the government, the team would leave with packed canned goods to get them through each tournament. At times, they would even dive for mussels just so they could eat.
Through the P1 million grant, ABS-CBN hopes to help alleviate the champion paddlers’ woes as they continue bringing glory to the country. The network, meanwhile, will continue giving full support to Filipino athletes and sports in general, through its multiplatform coverage of the biggest sporting events on Channel 2, Studio 23, and Balls Skycable CH. 34.