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Athletics coach Griffin lauds PH athletes’ work ethic

‘They’re like a family here. They train together and work as a team,’ adds coach Roshan Griffin, who is training the Philippine athletics team for the upcoming SEAG

VALUES-ORIENTED. Athletics coach Roshan Griffin praises the work ethic of Filipino athletes. File photo by David Lozada/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – With the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) just two months away, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) wants to ensure the best training for the Philippine team.

Even before the athletes’ planned trip to the Hong Kong Sports Institute on June 16, PATAFA has already worked on improving their skills by acquiring American coach Roshan Griffin.

Griffin, who also mentored China’s national team and world champion bets from the Caribbean and Ivory Coast, arrived last April.

The coach, having taught various national teams, shared what he has observed about culture and its role in athletes’ approach to sports.

"Everyone is different. The way they look and approach [the sport] depends on their culture," Griffin said. "China wants to work, work, and work, while the Islanders in the Caribbean are more laid back."

The hurdles and long jump guru said he has noticed that Filipinos seem more values-oriented.

"They (Filipinos) have high values and their work ethic is good. They’re like a family here. They train together and work as a team," he added.

Griffin also observed something special about the athletes, and it’s one of the reasons he is proud to be part of the Philippine coaching staff for this year’s SEAG.

"There so many people [here] with hidden potential," the coach said. "To get that out of them, you have to do something they’re not used to. That’s what happened when I got here, I used different ways and approaches to sport."

His SEAG prediction?

"I think we’re going to do well," Griffin said. "My expectations are higher from what they have for themselves just by what I see. I think if we keep working in the right direction, we’re going to have a great SEA Games performance."

Griffin will be with the athletics team in Hong Kong. That will be their final intensive training before the biennial multi-sporting event begins. – Rappler.com