Off the pitch: Kanoa FC takes charge

Posted on Dec 17 2020

Kanoa Footballl Club players repaint the medians in Garapan early this month as part of the group’s cleanup and beautification drive in the village and in support of the destination enhancement initiative of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers. (Contributed Photo)

A player’s performance on the field is important. So does off the field.

“Being a player isn’t always about how you perform on the field, but about who you are off the field, what you do when you are not playing,” said Sebastien Manabat, who was among the Kanoa Football Club players that participated in a clean-up and beautification drive in Garapan early this month.

Kanoa FC recently signed up with the Public Private Partnership initiative of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers and partnered with the Beach Road Tourism Development, Inc. in conducting improvement projects in one of the villages frequented by tourists. More than 30 players and officials of the club spruced up the median from Bank of Guam to the Garapan Fire Station by repainting them, planting additional flowers, and cleaning the area.

“We are thankful for the opportunity given to us, for the chance to do something for the community,” said the Kanoa FC defender.

“This year has been very challenging to us because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We did not get to play, we miss school, and even just doing simple things, like going out, are restricted. However, with a lot of time in our hands, we are grateful we are able to use it for a worthy cause by participating in this destination enhancement campaign,” Manabat added.

Hannah Santos, another Kanoa FC youth player who participated in the cleanup, said getting involved in improvement projects for the various sites in the CNMI right at this time is just perfect.

“With the adverse effects the pandemic has brought upon to our islands and the lack of tourists, we, as one community, should take this as an opportunity to improve and beautify the CNMI. The islands’ natural beauty is an integral part of our tourism economy,” Santos said.

Both Santos and Manabat have appealed to the community to do something to keep the island vibrant and clean.

“Even if it is just picking up trash while we’re walking or running along the road,” Manabat said.

“Everyone must hold the responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of our island, whether it be through participating in a volunteer event or by simply throwing our trash properly,” Santos seconded.

Meanwhile, Kanoa FC president Merlie Tolentino said improvement projects at the Garapan median will continue. In partnership with the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and the Marianas Visitors Authority, Kanoa FC has installed Christmas lights and decorations in the area to spread the yuletide spirit, while there will be regular trimming of the plants and patch repair work.

“We are pleased to have not just our club officials and coaches take part in this initiative, but also our young players, as this kind of activities teach them values and skills that they can practice on and off the pitch,” Tolentino said.

Kanoa FC general secretary Cristy Villaflor, on the other hand, said that taking part in the destination enhancement initiative is a good experience for the club’s young players.

“We are trying to instill in them the value of giving back and caring for the environment as they are the future leaders of our community,” Villaflor said. (PR)

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