San Fernando, La Union-based national surfer Roger Casugay said he wasn't expecting his good deed to go this far.
Receiving more accolades and international recognition was way beyond his perspective.“'Di ko naman po expect 'yang award na ibibigay sa akin sir,” said the 26-year-old Casugay some eight months after saving a fellow competitor's life in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.The International Committee on Fair Play has voted to give him the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy.The trophy has been awarded since 1965 to athletes, who stop in the middle of their own performances, to aid a fellow competitor in trouble.Casugay said his coaches in the national team are now in touch with authorities concerning his award.“Iyung coach po namin nakikipag-usap,” said Casugay.The International Surfing Association, through its Membership and Development Manager Alex Reynolds, informed the United Philippine Surfing Association Tuesday of Casugay’s achievement, one of the most prestigious awards in the field of sports.Because La Union is under the General Community Quarantine, Casugay said he hardly goes out to go surfing.Casugay would just bike around when the waves are not that good.
“Depende po sa alon, pero kasi ngayon nag-bike ako 'pag walang alon, kapag may alon, hayun surf,” said Casugay.CIFP Secretary General Sunil Sabharwal confirmed Casugay's recognition during a meeting of the International Association of Athletics Federation, where he is a board member.The awarding rites are set tentatively on Oct. 27 in Monaco.Casugay was also given the Fair Play award at the closing rites of the SEA Games.Casugay was leading his event when Indonesian surfer Arip Nurhidayat encountered problems when his board was thrown up in due to the force of the wave. He later won the gold.He is considered as the first Filipino to have been given this prestigious award named after the father of the international Olympic movement.Philippine Sports Commission Chairman and 30th SEAG Chef de Mission William Ramirez expressed his pride on this recognition of Casugay’s heroic act of kindness.“We are very proud of Roger because he has truly exemplified the true meaning of being a Filipino and a sportsman,” said Ramirez.
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