For the last seven years Christ’s Corridor Ponoka (CCP) church has been hosting a summer basketball series (volleyball is a recent addition) and it shows no signs of slowing down.
The effort is a way to bring Filipino families from all around central Alberta together for sport, community and fellowship. It’s also a chance for the guys to play the sport that is synonymous with the Philippines; basketball, and for the girls to get into competitive volleyball action.
The summer series is hosted thanks to a partnership with St. Augustine School and CCP and with volunteers working to ensure there are no hiccups along the way.
It’s also a chance for non-Filipinos to join in on the sports action.
Speaking on behalf of the organizing committee was Ronaldo ‘Boyong’ Derepite, who said the 2018 series started the first weekend of May and will go until the end of June.
The series, says Derepite, got its start at the Ponoka Elementary School outdoor courts. That was held for two years before the CCP was able to work closer with St. Augustine School.
Due to some of the challenges that come with being outdoor, such as summer storms and rain, being able to host the series indoors has ensured a more consistent event.
“There are people from Wetaskiwin, from Lacombe, Red Deer and Ponoka of course, and Camrose,” said Derepite.
“We want to be a supportive community,” he added, stating that the support is not only for the Filipino community but the non-Filipino Canadian community.
“We want to be as one community,” he said.
This year’s series has brought in more than 100 people.
Eventually Derepite says CCP would like to have a winter and summer league, which would be possible to host with a new field house, something the Town of Ponoka has been working on.