Tuloy Foundation and Rugby
Today I'm going to talk about my CAS project: how I went about finding it, organising it, and continuing it. My CAS project involves one of my greatest passions, rugby, and how I used it to help out a local charity; the Tuloy Foundation.
The Tuloy Foundation is an orphanage who helps keep kids of the streets by offering them a place to stay, providing them educational opportunities and chances to work.
They're located in Alabang, right next to Alabang Town Centre. It's not a particularly nice looking neighbourhood, but once you're inside the orphanage grounds it's quite safe.
Now the first time I heard of the Tuloy Foundation was 4 years ago, when I just arrived in Manila. We faced them at a local touch rugby tournament, and they absolutely ripped us apart.
Every time they got the ball they would just speed past us and score. I mean we were twice as big as these kids, and probably better coached, but they just had so much speed and talent that they would beat us every time.
So the first time I got interested in teaching these Tuloy boys was when I had a training session on the orphanage field with the Alabang Eagles, a local team I play rugby with.
Some of the guys who play with the Eagles are ex-Tuloy orphans, and they recommended that I help train some of them, as they could use some extra coaching and I would probably learn a thing or two from them. For about three years since that training session, I've been helping coach the orphan boys.
So long before I decided to make this my CAS service project, I was already helping these guys. And I think that is one of the most important aspects of choosing a good CAS project, it shouldn't have to be something totally new or something you're uncomfortable with. Mr. Crowley told me that the best CAS projects are when you take something you love, whether it's rugby, art, music or anything, and using that passion to give back to the community. When you go to do your service project, you shouldn't be reluctant to do it.
You should be happy about being able to share what you love with the community, and it definitely makes it easier to complete your project. If you're doing something you really don't like or find boring, it will be much harder to complete and your reflection and evaluation is probably going to be poor. I love rugby, and I was already used to coaching these guys, so when it came to making this particular project CAS-worthy, I just had to make sure it fit all three criteria.
So for the creative portion, I created a rugby training scheme to help develop the skills of the players. For action, the activity is rugby so obviously there is already a lot of physical activity involved. For the service, since I am helping orphans who are underprivileged, I am helping to give back to the community in a positive way. My aims for the project are to coach the Tuloy team to a level where they can compete against teams like us and ISM. Additionally, I want to try and get as many of them playing tackle rugby in the local men's rugby league and hopefully the national team as well.
Now the following questions are things you guys will have to ask yourselves after you've finished a CAS project. Did I make a difference in others? Yes. Hopefully. The Tuloy Foundation helps to keep children of the streets and sport is a big part of helping them do this. By offering these boys a chance to funnel their energy into something positive, we are keeping them away from the dangers of street life. Additionally, some of the boys I spoke to said that rugby is the only highlight of their day, so it was quite evident how important it is for Tuloy to keep their operation going.
What did I learn? Other than learning how to run quite fast, I also learned a lot about the Tuloy boys, and that they really are not any different to us. They also love sport, messing around and having fun. After seeing the situation that these boys are in, I also learned to really be thankful for what I have, and not take my blessings for granted.
Lastly, it is important to try and continue your project to ensure that the people you're helping are still receiving some kind of support. For me, I am continuing the project by ensuring that my contact with the boys extends outside of Tuloy orphanage. Some of them play in the local rugby league with me, and some have even gone on tour as well. As for the actual training in the Tuloy foundation, I'm going to convince some of the BSM guys in year 12 to pick up where I left off next year.