De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is doing its part in helping develop the next Hidilyn Diaz.
In a simple ceremony bestowing the Benildean Medallion to the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist, the school also launched the Hidilyn Diaz Scholarship for Athletes.
The scholarship will be given to five select national athletes that will pursue their tertiary education in the Taft school.
For Diaz, she is just grateful that Benilde not only helped in grooming her but will also help build the path for the next generation.
“Pinakamasaya po ako siguro dahil sa ibibigay na scholarship para sa national athletes,” expressed the 30-year-old native of Zamboanga City, who took up Business Management in the school.
“Malaking bagay po ‘yun sa’min kasi nga, hindi kami parating atleta. Kailangan po kaming mag-aral at sa Benilde ang dami kong natutunan.”
Of course, the highlight of the event was the awarding of the Benildean Medallion.
According to CSB President Br. Dodo Fernandez, it is a “symbol of Benildean identity of doing ordinary things extraordinarily well – a phrase which Pope Pius XI first attributed in 1928 to Saint Benilde Romancon.”
Diaz, who was with fiance Julius Naranjo in the event held at the Benilde Sports and Dorm Complex in Pasay City, is the first-ever recipient of the award.
“Kasama ko ang Benilde sa journey ko towards sa gold medal,” she said. “Thank you so much na kahit nag-stop ako sa school, tinanggap niyo pa rin po ako na ipagpatuloy kahit sa digital learning at ang dami kong natutunan while preparing for Olympics.
“Mahirap maging estudyante at Olympian pero naging posible kasi nasa Benilde ako. Naging extraordinary ang pagkapanalo ko sa Olympics dahil Benildean ako.”
Athletic Director Stephen Fernandez vows that the school will continue to support not just its athletes but also the national team.
“You are very special to us in Benilde as you represent our commitment to help athletes ensure that they get a good education,” said the Taekwondo jin and coach.