Philippines basketball tour a winner

St Andrew
St Andrew's College Marayong students in action

A school holiday basketball tour to the Philippines has given students and teachers from St Andrew’s College, Marayong a holiday of a lifetime.

The highlight was a visit to a “tent city” that is home to thousands of people left homeless by Typhoon Haiyan.

“We may have made a small difference to the children’s lives on that day but we assure you that their smiles will live long in our hearts. It was an emotional, but unforgettable experience – definitely the best part of the trip,” Kathleen Carrero and Hilary Zakria said.

Both students and teachers interacted with the children, distributed food and assisted with any medical needs that were required. 

There were several medical issues and one required teacher Martin Gillogly to act as doctor and release the pressure from an infected boil above a child’s eye with fellow teacher Nicholas Thrum acting as his nurse. 

During the first week of the July holidays 16 students from Years 10, 11 and 12 plus four teachers fly to Manila and although the tour had a basketball focus there was a lot of community engagement with local schools. 

One group of students went to a preschool where they spent time with the children to learn parts of the body through games and songs. The students donated books and school supplies and also left koala gifts, which the children instantly loved and appreciated. 

Another group went to a high school where they held back-to-back basketball lessons and received high praise from locals with one Filipino student commenting, “This was the best lesson I’ve ever had”.

On another day the team visited the New Faith Family Children’s Home where they played played games, read books and sang songs to the children. 

Then it was time for a little gardening, with plows, shovels and rakes used to remove rocks and dried leaves. 

“Together we leveled the play area and rendered the centre’s wall. Indeed, this was labour-intensive but we pulled through in the hot conditions and showed determination and dedication to get the job done,” Kathleen and Hilary said. 

“We did some amazing things, both on and off the court. The memories and smiles will last forever and our skills on the court have been strengthened. 

“We strongly encourage students to participate in this trip in future years even if you don’t play basketball, as it provides you with a memorable and fulfilling experience.”
The students said the trip wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the teachers, especially Mr Gillogly who put a lot of time and effort into the planning. 

“On behalf of the students who attended the Philippines Basketball Tour, we’d like to say thank you to the College and to Mr Vidot for making this all possible,” they said. 

“Happiness occurs when you are able to share it with others.”
Posted By CathEd Parra at 26/07/2017 12:16:20 PM

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