20 Oct GFA donates sports equipment to Special Olympics Guam
[October 20, 2020 – Harmon, Guam] Through a community donation drive earlier this year, Guam Football Association donated hundreds of softball equipment – bats, helmets, balls, gloves, and cleats, among other equipment – to Special Olympics Guam for its softball program.
“On behalf of the Special Olympics Guam board, and more so our athletes, I want to thank Guam Football Association for this tremendous donation,” said Frank Florig, Special Olympics Guam President and CEO. “I’ve always said that Special Olympics is a program of the community, and without community support, there is no program; the community makes Special Olympics.
“The organization today is very well-structured to provide year-round sports for our athletes, thanks to a combination of the work of our Board members and volunteers, the leadership of our Chairman Camilo Lorenzo – he is always saying we can do better – the parents of athletes, the local community, and also importantly our sponsors and federations like GFA. GFA are soccer experts, but when GFA leaders learned that we needed softball equipment, they went right to work to organize a donation drive – that’s unheard of, so thank you very much GFA,” Florig added.
Guam Football Association organized its first sports equipment drive for Special Olympics Guam on Feb. 15 during the second week of the Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League. GFA continued to accept sports equipment – new or gently used – through the weeks following the donation drive.
“On behalf of GFA, I would like to thank GFA partners and the local community that came together to donate the sports equipment to Special Olympics Guam,” said Tino San Gil, GFA President. “During a meeting about organizing the second season of Unified Soccer, we also discussed challenges the organization had been facing, including the possible cancellation of the softball season due to a shortage of equipment, among others. We wanted to find ways to help, and through the donation drive, we were able to collect equipment for the Special Olympics athletes. “It was truly a community effort, and I’m happy that GFA was able to assist Special Olympics Guam in this way. We are always still open to accepting donations and sports equipment to donate to Special Olympics Guam,” San Gil added.
About three years ago during the introduction of Softball in Special Olympics Guam’s annual sports programs, Florig recalled a moment when he noticed a few spectators in the stands crying.
“I thought maybe their grandson or granddaughter got hurt, so I went to them to find out,” Florig said. “They told me that they never ever thought they would see their grandchildren out on the field playing softball and they were overcome with emotion watching them play. I shared this with other Board members, and they’d hear similar stories throughout.”
Fast forward to the early part of 2020, the Special Olympics Guam board members learned that the organization’s stored softball equipment had gone missing and they were faced with the possibility of canceling softball. Although the COVID-19 pandemic halted the organization’s sports programs this year, Special Olympics Guam board members are looking forward to a full year of sports in 2021, once the COVID19 health emergency improves.
“I’m very humbled that GFA supported us and organized to have the much-needed equipment donated,” said Camilo Lorenzo, Chairman of the Special Olympics Guam Board. “My message to the Special Olympics athletes and their families during this COVID situation is that we’re all a community, we’re all still here – practice social distancing and keep your bodies, minds, and your spirits healthy, we’re going to get out of this. When we do get out of this, Special Olympics Guam will be there. We’re a community, we’re a family, and we take care of each other.”
Special Olympics Guam features six sports annually with Athletics (Track and Field) in the first quarter, followed by Swimming, Unified Bowling, Unified Badminton, Unified Soccer, and Unified Softball. Although softball traditionally has been a fall season sport, Special Olympics Guam is planning to move the sport to the second quarter of the year with Swimming, Florig said.
To make a monetary donation or donate sports equipment, contact Special Olympics Guam by phone at 648-7648 or by messaging the organization via Facebook, @specialolympicsguam Donations are also accepted at the GFA Main Office in Harmon and will be given to Special Olympics Guam.
Special Olympics Guam recently received donated softball equipment from Guam Football Association at the GFA National Training Center following a sports equipment donation drive from earlier in the year. In the photo are, front row from left to right, GFA Executive Director Cheri Stewart, Special Olympics Guam President and CEO Frank Florig, GFA President Tino San Til, GFA Competitions Administrator Ashley Besagar, and GFA General Secretary Marvin “Ike” Iseke. In the back row, from left to right, are GFA Competitions Director Samuel San Gil, GFA Executive Secretary Gianna Tenorio, and Special Olympics Guam Chairman of the Board Camilo Lorenzo.
Special Olympics Guam recently received donated softball equipment from Guam Football Association at the GFA National Training Center following a sports equipment donation drive from earlier in the year. In the photo, Special Olympics Guam President and CEO Frank Florig (in purple shirt) and GFA President Tino San Gil (in light blue top) discuss donated equipment and upcoming events ahead of a photo shoot to announce the sports equipment donation.