SPORTS and lifestyle products retailer MAP Active Philippines, Inc., through its banner brand New Balance, got the ball rolling on its 2021 advocacy by donating P2 million worth of basketball shoes to underserved but deserving communities nationwide.
In an online meeting with the sports media, New Balance officials rolled out the #WeGotNow PH campaign which put the spotlight on inspiring stories of Filipino perseverance amid the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company kicked off the campaign with a donation of 300 pairs of shoes to communities in Bulacan, Cavite, Manila, Davao and BARMM.
JRU basketball coach Louie Gonzalez, former URCC flyweight champion Geli Bulaong and Ateneo de Davao athletics director Noli Ayo were cited as exemplary pandemic heroes who rose to the occasion and continued to push the envelope for sports despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
“We pray that with these symbols of hope, we can inspire the recipients to carry on with their endeavors with optimism in facing the challenges and pursuing their passion in sports and in life,” said New Balance marketing manager Mishka Rafael.
“This pandemic held sports to a standstill,” said MAP Active Phils. Inc. marketing director Sugar Meneses. "By sharing these stories, we hope that others will take on the challenge of trying to make the most of the moment to make a difference for good.”
Gonzalez saw the pandemic as an opportunity to continue teaching the game of basketball. Almost 1,500 coaches joined his LGONZ Corner, a Facebook coaching group which boasts of both local and foreign coaches.
Bulaong stepped up her game and aided four-time world jiujitsu champion Meggie Ochoa in their advocacy to fight for the end of child sexual violence through sports behind the Fight To Protect project.
Even with face-to-face classes on hold, Ateneo de Davao University athletics director Ayo still found ways to keep the momentum of sports going by creating spaces for athletes, coaches, sports leaders and experts to connect and learn.
“In partnership with our campaign heroes, coach Louie Gonzales, Geli Bulaong and coach Noli Ayo, symbols of hope in the form of brand new, New Balance shoes will be donated to their identified communities,” sad Rafael.
For more information on New Balance’s #WeGotNow PH campaign, visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/NewBalancePhilippines/