SM officials and employees took a break from their corporate responsibilities to engage in some healthy fun during the recent annual SM Sportsfest that also celebrated the spirit of sportsmanship, camaraderie and healthy competition. Graced by officials led by no less than SM Prime Holdings, Inc. president Hans Sy; SM Retail, Inc. president Jorge Mendiola; SM Mart, Inc. president Chelo Monasterio; and SVP for Engineering & Security Affairs and Sportsfest Committee Chair Antolin Paule, the annual activity promoted physical fitness through two exciting and fun-filled events – the SM Marathon and the Mini Olympics.
Held at the SM Mall of Asia Complex, the SM Marathon pitted the best runners from The SM Store’s 19 branches in Metro Manila including the head office in Pasay. More than 2,000 employees participated in the Men’s 5K and the Women’s 3K races, sprinting from the business park’s Simbahan Drive to the Seaside Boulevard near the bay area. While the runners competed, other SM employees had fun at the body jam session where they danced to this summer’s best beats.
For the very first time ever, the SM Mini-Olympics was held at the Marikina Sports Center, with Marathon first placers Miriam Fortunato of SM San Lazaro and Marlon Bolivar of SM Southmall doing the honors of symbolically lighting the Sportsfest torch to signal the start of the event, all 20 teams proudly waving their respective team colors, made more vibrant by the Masskara theme and costumes showcased during the opening ceremony.
The Mini-Olympics turned employees into track stars as they competed in events such as the men and women’s 100-meter dash. Fortunato bagged the gold medal once again for her team while Nomer Carpio of SM Bicutan won in his category. Another highlight was the fun games like the sack race with the Megamall Stallions literally leaping to win first place.
The North EDSA Blue Hawks, on the other hand, won team events like the 8×50 relay, obstacle course and tug-o-war – getting enough points to bag the overall championship for the second year in a row since the Sportsfest returned to the one branch-one team format last year. The Manila King Cobras meantime took second place while the San Lazaro Mustangs came in third.
Adding to the fun was a hip-hop dance competition that showcased the creativity and talent of SM employees. D’ Next Level group of SM North EDSA, SM Fairview, SM Marikina and SM Novaliches got the judges nod for best choreography and use of exercise gear as props during their dance routine.
Among the much-awaited portions of the annual Sportsfest is the special performance by the National University Pep Squad, ranked 3rd best in the world at the 2015 International Cheer Union (ICU) World Cheerleading Championships for the Coed Elite Division – leaving no one in doubt why the NU Pep Squad is among the world’s best.