WHILE the coronavirus pandemic has largely disrupted the conduct of sports affairs in the country, the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) has refused to cave into it, staying active in keeping the practitioners of the sport in the country engaged and moving.

Since the health crisis made its presence felt in March, ASAPHIL in the collective has tried to deal with the challenging times the best way it can while also doing its share in the fight against the pandemic.

For one, members of both the RP Blu Girls and the RP Blu Boys, the national softball teams, have been active in taking part in various outreach programs of ASAPHIL to help Filipinos affected directly by the quarantine.

Also, some members of the RP Blu Boys also donned military uniforms and joined the frontliners in manning checkpoints during the enhanced community quarantine period.

ASAPHIL focused as well in enriching further the knowledge of Filipino softball coaches and players while they are stuck at home.

Last month, the association launched the Sports Science for Softball, a 10-series webinar that tackled the fundamentals of strength and condition training, specifically softball strength and conditioning training.

The webinar featured Ric Teng, the current strength and conditioning coach of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s Marikina Shoemasters and Nathan Futalan, former Philippine Sports Commission and now Philippine Basketball Association Magnolia Hotshots strength and conditioning coach.

“ASAPHIL has always advocated for the advancement of our Pinoy softball coaches and players through our grassroots programs and this 10-part webinar series is a testament to that unwavering commitment that not even a virus can defeat,” said Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines President Jean Henri Lhuillier.

The webinar has logged over 600 registrants eager to learn the importance of a strength and conditioning program. And such effort has been received well by stakeholders, who view it as going a long way in trying to stay on top of their game.

“It will be hard to get back to it but the pandemic also allowed for a lot of learning to take place through webinars, which is really good because it wasn’t so accessible back then. Everyone may be starting at zero in terms of physical activities, but if the strength and conditioning programs and other learnings will be applied by coaches when they get back — especially for the younger teams — then I call that a win,” said ASAPHIL Secretary-General Cheska Altomonte.

ASAPHIL said it is still planning to do more webinars in the future for the softball community, touching on various topics such as nutrition, mental well-being and more.

For more information on them, follow the association on its official Facebook page, facebook.com/asaphil. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo