Per National Nutrition Survey (7th : 2008) conducted by the FoodResearch Institute, at least 16 million Filipinos aged 20 and above, and about two out of 10 children are overweight. Also, undernutrition remains a public health concern affecting nearly three out 10 children. With the advent of technology, a significant change in interests and behaviors is noted among children.
These alarming concerns prompted Alaska Milk Corporation provide proper nutrition and promote an active lifestyle. Hence every summer Alaska gathers basketball, football, and volleyball enthusiasts through its Alaska Power Camps, a sports program, which aims to encourage both girls and boys to engage in sports.
Through basketball, football, and volleyball, the children not only improve their talent but also acquire proper skills development and formation of the values of discipline, determination, hard work, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
Distinguished Philippine sports icons will lead the Alaska Power Camps. First, Philippine Basketball Association legend and Alaska Aces assistant coach, Jeffrey Cariaso, will lead a team of basketball coaches. Second, former professional football player and currently Alaska Football Power Camp project director, and Alabang Football School, Makati Football school director, Tomas Lozano, will lead the Alaska Football Power Camp. Third, Philippine Super Liga volleyball player and former De La Salle University Lady Spikers star volleyball player, Michele Gumabao, will lead a team of volleyball experts in teaching aspiring young girls in the Alaska Volleyball Power Camp.
The Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA presented by Alaska continued its search for the best basketball players in the country when it conducted its second Regional Selection Camp at the Ateneo de Davao University (Grade School/High School-Matina Campus) on February 27 and 28.
Boys and girls joined the search for the ten best boy and five best girl basketball players who became members of the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA All-Star team. There was also a search for the boys and girls coaches who would handle the two teams. The All-Star team will travel overseas for their NBA experience trip together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
The 2015 Jr. NBA All-Stars traveled to China to watch the NBA Global Games in Shenzhen featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the L.A. Clippers.
The Alaska Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA is free and open to boys and girls ages 10 to 14 years old (born on 2002 to 2006) and one of Alaska Milk’s programs to shape, train, challenge and inspire children achieve their dreams and aspirations in life. “These holistic programs train children to be confident, disciplined and hardworking because Alaska Milk Corporation aims to prepare them to be winners in life in the future. This year’s program includes new locations such as Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite to reach more children and coaches and discover the best basketball players across the country,” said Blen Fernando, marketing director.
The 2011 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute revealed that three out of ten children aged five to ten years were underweight while eight out of one hundred children of the same age were overweight, making malnutrition and obesity two of the most pressing nutritional problems in the Philippines today. The Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA is under Alaska Milk’s Nutrition.Action.Champion program. It helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished Filipino children with the promotion of proper nutrition and active lifestyle through sports.
This year’s program started with the tip-off at Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati last January 23. School clinics teaching the fundamentals of basketball will run until April with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa. New locations include Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite.
Other than Davao, there will also be Regional Selection Camps in Cebu on March 5-6 and Metro Manila on April 9-10. The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the Regional Selection Camps will advance to the final selection stage in the National Training Camp in Manila on April 22-24.
NBA and WNBA players or legends will attend the National Training Camp to help train and inspire the finalists. The program will culminate with the selection of ten Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars.
More than 36,000 players and 2,700 coaches have participated in the program since it started in the Philippines in 2007. During the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA program will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 32 countries. The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA is the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls which teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.
Alaska once again brings the Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Philippines to the country for the ninth consecutive year which will commence January 23 and culminate on April 24. It includes skills clinics, regional selection and training camps, and an NBA immersion opportunity. Basketball clinics will be held in Batangas, Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Catanduanes, Cavite, Dagupan, Davao, IloIlo, Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa.
The Alaska Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 kicked off on January 23 at Don Bosco school in Makati with coaches presented to the young players. Alaska Power Dancers set the energy high prior to ceremonial tip-off with a dance showdown. The special participation and exhibition of mascots Ecow of Alaska and Harry the Hawk (NBA Atlanta Hawks Team) highlighted said event.
An NBA and WNBA player or legend will be present at the training camp to train and inspire finalists. The program will select ten Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA who will get to travel overseas to experience the NBA together with fellow all-stars from Southeast Asia. Led by Jr. NBA head coaches Craig Brown and Chris Summer, and Alaska Power Camp coach Jeff Cariaso, the search for this year’s Jr. NBA Coach of the Year will start on January 22.
The program is free and open to boys and girls 10-14 years old. Coaches and participants can register online where the program terms and conditions are found.
Alaska Milk celebrated two decades of commitment to football, the world’s most popular ball game, with the holding of the 20th Alaska Football Cup which gathered young football players in the country at the Alabang Country Club .
Football provides an active alternative for children in place of passive activities such as watching television, surfing the Internet, or spending too much time on social media. The National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute reported that health issues are best addressed by adopting an active lifestyle along with healthy diet, and regular drinking of milk, at least twice daily.
Participating in a sport develops the athletic and social skills of participants through healthy competition among the same age group, while it boosts physical and mental development. Furthermore, engaging in sports instills the values of determination, discipline, hardwork, teamwork and sportsmanship.
The Alaska Football Cup is the highly anticipated annual football tournament for today’s young athletes with school teams and football clubs from all over the Philippines including Masbate, Baguio, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Davao, Palawan, Legaspi, Laguna, Batangas, Bukidnon, Zambales, Pampanga, Tarlac, Ilocos, Bicol, Romblon, Davao Sur, Compostela Valley, Quezon, Cavite, Albay, Pangasinan, Bacolod, Iloilo, Mindoro and Metro Manila participating.
From humble beginnings come great things
Twenty years ago, Alaska Milk just wanted something for young children that will complement the basketball program and it became bigger and bigger over time. Alaska Football Cup is the country’s longest-running and most successful grassroots-development program, and biggest football event for young athletes which attracted players of all ages, as young as six years old.
“In 1996, we had 350 players and 25 teams. Today, in our 20th anniversary, we held a three-day event in 26 football fields with 6,150 players in 410 teams. In those 20 years we’ve had 12,159 teams of over 58,000 players play 13,800 games with over 40,000 goals scored. We’ve come a long way,” said Alaska CEO Uytengsu. The Alaska CEO also praised the dedication of tournament organizer Tomas Lozano and his role in not only growing the tournament, but also in discovering some of the best football players in the country who eventually went on to play in the Azkals national football team.
“Alaska Football Cup is more than just discovering elite players. It’s about promoting teamwork, commitment and dedication. We hope that as players you will keep those characteristics in mind. It’s a privilege to be here to open the 20th Alaska Cup,” said Uytengsu.
“Over these 20 years. we have had the opportunity to have some really fantastic players participate in the event. We are proud to say that many in the ranks of the Azkals have come through the Alaska Cup including Ali Borromeo, Roel Gener Chieffy Caligdong and Amani Aguinaldo,” said Uytengsu. Alaska Milk encourages sports engagement as it instills positive values during the early stages of a child’s life.
How to join Alaska’s sports programs NUTRITION. ACTION. CHAMPION.
The Nutrition. Action. Champion. program of Alaska Milk bagged the Best Use of Brand Advocacy award during the 2015 Loyalty and Engagement Awards held in Singapore on 13 August 2015.
The program was cited from among cutting-edge work across the region with 22 entries from Asia Pacific, South Asia and ANZ during the third edition of Loyalty & Engagement Awards, which was its biggest ever.
Through the Nutrition. Action. Champion. program, Alaska Milk rallies Filipino children to an active lifestyle, promotes good nutrition and instills the values of discipline, determination, hard work and teamwork for them to become champions in whatever they do.
The sports activities are developed, organized and sustained by Alaska Milk and its agency partners TBWA\SMP, OPEN and Partners, and M2M Advertising Phils. Alaska Milk has one of the biggest year-long sports programs in the Philippines- with more than 60 events, six different sports (basketball, volleyball, football, triathlon, cycling and running), and more than 20,000 participants nationwide.
The Loyalty & Engagement Awards support Marketing magazine’s mission of elevating marketing standards and practices in the region with focus on customer loyalty and engagement.
I learned to bike with the help of some childhood friends using the BMX bike in the 80s. And never got interested to own one until now. During a visit at a Saturday flea market, I saw a group of bikers using small-type bikes. I never knew what it was called. One of the bikers whom I approached told me that the group belongs to a foldies community. I knew then I wanted to own one. But the heavens must have other designs for me. One day a fellow runner and a good friend offered to sell her road bike. To cut the long story short, I ended up having a road bike delivered at my doorstep by my friend Maui and her family on Chinese New Year hence the bike’s nickname Lucky or Luke.
SERIES OF ROAD TESTS
First attempt, I was shaking. On my second attempt, while waiting for the stop light to go Green, tried to get off from the bike, suddenly lost my balance and fell to the ground. So embarrassed knowing many pairs of eyes saw what happened! On my third attempt, I went around the block for only about 30 minutes. That was it.
THE ALASKA BIKE RIDE CHALLENGE
So when an invite came for an entry to a big cycling event, l was caught a bit off guard. Finally, a chance to ride in a pack and tackle almost a marathon distance. Initially registered for the 20-kilometer Community Ride category. However, on the day of the ride pack collection, the attending staff (she was so nice) suggested that I try the Challenge Ride category instead. In the end, I found myself officially registered for the 40-kilometer ride. What have l gotten myself into this time? No bike mileage. Not enough serious training. Relied on pure chutzpa to just do it.
As a new rider, I was nervous and apprehensive of the outcome of this ride. Arrived early at the venue and bumped into an old-time friend and fellow running blogger Anna, who was with her husband. Both registered for the 20-kilometer Community Ride. After the quick chitchat, I decided to go ahead. Walking, I met another biker who was waiting for his buddy. I asked about the route and the event. He said it was his third time to join. And, commented further that the route would include two flyovers. Apprehensions set in suddenly. How would I tackle it? I could only think of one option: walk once at the flyover. I proceeded to the starting line, looked for the baggage area to deposit my stuff, and went back to my Wave assignment. As I roamed my eyes at the crowd of bikers gathered at the starting line, I felt the energy and excitement. To calm my nerves, I initiated a conversation with a fellow female rider on my left. As late participants passed by our Wave to proceed to earlier Wave assignments, I noticed on their bikes are either one or two water bottle containers. I looked at the empty water bottle cage on my bike. Yeah, didn’t bring any hydration with me. The ultra runner in me was in the works, meaning, used to hydrating every ten kilometers so l didn’t worry.
The lively emcee kept the crowd energized. There was a camera drone flying over us and almost everyone wave their hands in the air. Then the countdown for each Wave begun. There were six waves for the Challenge Ride and each wave is released every five minutes. Finally, it was time to move towards the start arch for the countdown and GO signal.
This is it! Time to do and finish the 40-km ride! Goal: it would be a steady ride for me. While pedaling along Seaside Boulevard, a biker whizzed by and said something which I could hardly hear. But it seemed he said something like I need to hurry and pedal fast. Approaching Roxas Boulevard, from afar I saw lead bikers riding their way up to Buendia-Roxas Boulevard flyover. Wait a minute, runners and bikers on Buendia flyover? Whoah!
I didn’t give it much thought though as I pedaled my bike south bound along Roxas Boulevard. The 40-km bike ride category requires bikers to do four laps before heading to the finish line. Went for a steady pace and didn’t hydrate during the first ten kilometers. Most of the other bikers are in full throttle. After the turnaround, game on for the next challenge: first flyover along EDSA-Roxas Boulevard. I made it! Approaching fast now on the second flyover, ahead of me was a biker slowly pedaling up on the left side. Bikers on the right side ahead of me. I was already at the incline. Attempted to avoid the rider, unfortunately l lost my balance, hit the ground and crashed. Good thing no domino effect happened as more bikers came at the spot where l fell. That sudden impact really shook up my nerves, bruised my right palm and caused abrasion on my elbow. I couldn’t just go off without myself checked for any damage. After the medic treated my wound, I pedaled my bike back to the pack trying to catch up with missed time during the crash.
l was in my element again even if my right palm was painful. Every time l approached each flyover l really prayed hard and pedaled my way cautiously. There was one moment though when some fast riders going south went out of their lane unmindful of the danger they are causing. Collisions could happen anytime. Fresh from my bike crash earlier, l had to make a noise as a warning they go back in their lane. I was going downhill the flyover when it happened.
Approaching the turnaround near CCP, a biker whizzed by and joyfully said, “Congratulations, Ma’am!” The greeting caught me by surprise. Really. I was not fast. I didn’t even finish in over an hour. I think the rider meant well.
The last few kilometers were easy and found myself crossing the finish line … finally! Staff handed me something to eat and drink, then l was given the finisher’s medal. Nice!
Congratulations to all riders! My salute and respect to those who finished strong and fast even if the Challenge was not meant to be a race. To me, the bike ride was still a race against myself.
Super duper thanks to Alaska Milk, Alaska Cycle Asia Philippines and Sunrise Events for this unforgettable experience. You just don’t know how much it made me so happy. One of the best birthday gifts l could ever have!