Before Ed Hayco started his first term as chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission, he called a few close friends for advice. I was one of them and boy was I glad that he didn’t heed my advice.
Sir Ed told me that he was being considered for the job and I told him simply, “Don’t take it.”
I was mindful of what happened to Jonathan Guardo, the former energetic CCSC chairman who was instrumental in getting Cebu as one of the hosts of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games and who, as a thank you, got charged for graft a few years later.
Thankfully, he didn’t listen to my advice.
Under Ed Hayco, Cebu sports saw an unprecedented growth highlighted with a couple of Guinness Book of World Records entries for the largest dancesports class, the largest chess tournament, and largest archery class. The attempts for me were secondary, spreading the sport to as wide a base was what was important.
Archery is an expensive sport and to get around that problem, CCSC came up with bows made up of PVC pipes, a move that was soon adopted by the national sports association as the basis for its grassroots program. The attempt—at the largest class and the use of cheap PVC bows—was highlighted by World Archery, the international federation for the sport.
Of course, those were not the only highlights. I think one of Hayco’s greatest achievements is doing away with the winning-first mentality and highlighting the importance of character-building when it comes to sports. He also emphasized on sports transformative experience, having seen it first hand in some of his dancesports athletes who’ve managed to get themselves out of poverty, thanks to sports.
A couple of weeks ago, Hayco was appointed as one of the commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission, which will make the second straight term that Cebu will have a representative in the body.
We were supposed to meet for an exclusive interview but a series of unfortunate events led to him meeting William John Riley Tiu Go, the first Filipino to win a world title in karting.
William’s press conference and send-off was scheduled at 5 p.m., while my meeting with Sir Ed was originally set at 2:30 p.m. After a couple of reschedule, including one when he thought that we were supposed to meet at 5 p.m. at Radisson when I said I had to be at Radisson at 5 p.m.
After some serious prodding since he didn’t want to be a gatecrasher, I managed to convince him to drop by and meet fellow sportswriters and William’s family had to do some serious convincing to make him stay as he wanted the affair to be all about the gifted Cebuano.
But Sir Ed knows when accidents can lead to something good—he got to meet the man behind karting in the Philippines, while William’s need for a sports visa for future trips abroad will get a PSC endorsement.
And after hearing how William had to overcome bullying early in his career, he told the young karter that he hopes to present him to kids some day in the future.
Knowing sir Ed, it would be for William to teach underprivileged kids not to become better drivers, but how to overcome bullying.