MANILA--Jia Morado has a heart of a champion.
Amid the lockdown, not only does the national team player keep her physical and mental health and well-being in check with a variety of exercises (she trains with her team online every morning and does yoga for mindfulness, among others), but she also gives back to communities and causes close to her heart.
As someone who grew up in a team sport, Jia resonates with the philosophy of getting through challenges together with peers, training not just for oneself but for the team, and playing a role in a larger community.
“Everyone has a role to play in battling this pandemic, whether that’s in the frontlines or at home. We have to remember our duties and get through this together to come out as one strong community,” Morado said.
“When the lockdown began, my boyfriend (Miguel) and I really wanted to aid those hit hardest by quarantine, and we were sure that our friends wanted to help as well,” added Jia. “However, some of us didn’t know how we could help out from home. Others also thought that they had too little to give. However, in a crisis like this, no help is too small. That’s why we came up with our initiative called ‘Every Little Thing Counts.’”
The donation drive has successfully raised over a million pesos in its first wave, allowing them to donate personal protective equipment for fourteen hospitals.
For the second wave, they were able to raise around PHP700,000, which translated to 1,400 food packs for families in need.
“We were able to raise this with the support of everyone--our peers, generous donors, and our partner organizations. In the following weeks, we’re going to be focused on repacking and distributing aid to communities we are helping,” Morado further said.
The star setter’s heart also goes out to her fellow athletes who were affected by the lockdown.
“I’ve heard stories about fellow athletes who lost motivation because the quarantine took away the games, our training, and our livelihood as athletes. However, I am hopeful that things will get back on track, and that we will all be able to get through this together and play the sports we love the most,” Jia said.
Along with her peers in the volleyball community, she has also launched Solid Seven Academy, where they’ve launched a series of online conversations geared toward grassroots volleyball players and coaches--the next generation of athletes, as she says.
“Our initiative aims to remind these players that the pandemic is not a reason to stop getting better in their passions--to stay sharp, fit, and connected. We’ve had so many participants lately, and we’re looking forward to reaching out to more players and keeping the love for volleyball alive,” Morado concluded.
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