#WeAreAthletes, An Online Video Series Promoting Physical Fitness, Inclusivity, and Community
#WeAreAthletes was initiated to promote physical fitness, inclusivity, and community in the Philippines during the pandemic. The online series featured Radio Taiso – a popular Japanese morning exercise, and Athletes’ Stories – a 2-episode video series featuring Japanese and Filipino Olympic Athletes and Para-athletes.
Meanwhile, Athletes’ Stories featured Mr. YOKOTA Masato, 2012 London Olympic athlete; Ms. Mary Joy Tabal, 2016 Rio Olympic athlete; Mr. Isidro Vildosola, 2012 London Paralympic athlete; and PADS Dragon Boat Team, the Philippine’s first cross-disability dragon boat racing team. These celebrated athletes shared their stories and motivations, advice to aspiring athletes, and even simple workout tutorials.
Mr. YOKOTA is a graduate from Keio University in Japan. An athlete during the 2012 London Olympics, he specializes in 800m event in track and field, and was the Japanese record holder from 2009 to 2014. Currently, he spearheads a Virtual Distance Challenge as an alternative activity for students because of cancelled national inter-school sports competitions due to the pandemic.
Mary Joy Tabal
Born and raised in Cebu City, Ms. Tabal is the first Filipina Olympic Qualifier for women’s marathon and is the current record holder in the country for women’s marathon and half-marathon. Ms. Tabal competed in numerous national and international competitions including the recent 2019 SEA Games and the 2020 DUBAI Standard Chartered 10km Road Race. Since the pandemic, she is busy and enjoying doing home exercises and baking.
“I may have lost an arm, but I have not lost my fighting spirit.”
Mr. Vildosola or Coach Sid lost his right arm due to a rice mill accident when he was 14 years old in their town in Koronadal City, Mindanao. This did not stop him to pursue different sports when he was young and eventually competed professionally in 2005. Growing up as a simple rural athlete, his main motivation in sports is to help his family financially.
Coach Sid has won multiple awards in Para Games including four podium finish during the 2014 ASEAN Para Games in Myanmar. He also ranked 7th during the 2012 Paralympics held in London, United Kingdom.
PADS Dragon Boat Team
“On the water, there is no such thing as ‘disability’. It’s all about mindset and courage”
Founded in 2016, PADS Dragon Boat Team is the first cross-disability adaptive dragon boat racing program in the Philippines. The team is composed of women and men driven and united by sports.
A program under the Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS), CEO and Co-Founder JP Maunes envisions platforms such as adaptive sports programs as a step towards making a disability-inclusive Philippines.
Building a strong community supporting future generations of Persons with Disabilities, the PADS aims to expand the avenues for mainstreaming social inclusion.