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Roger Casugay becomes first Filipino to win international fair play award

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Tiebreaker Times Roger Casugay becomes first Filipino to win international fair play award News Surfing  Roger Casugay Butch Ramirez

Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and surfing star, Roger Casugay, once again brought honor to the country as he was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Act of Fair Play Award by the Comité International du Fair-Play (International Fair Play Committee).

He is the first Filipino to receive this prestigious award named after the father of the international Olympic movement.

Philippine Sports Commission Chairman and 30th SEA Games Chef de Mission Butch Ramirez expressed his pride in this recognition of Casugay’s heroic act of kindness when he gave up his ride for gold to save a surfing competitor from Indonesia.

“We are very proud of Roger because he has truly exemplified the true meaning of being a Filipino and a sportsman,” said Ramirez.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) through its Membership and Development Manager Alex Reynolds, informed the United Philippine Surfing Association on Tuesday of Casugay’s achievement of one of the most prestigious awards in the field of sports.

The 26-year old Casugay, a native of San Fernando, La Union, earned the highest respect and praise from SEAG visitors and local sports fans and enthusiasts. He also went on to win the gold in the same event after judges decided to rerun after deliberation.

“Above all, it is a more fulfilling achievement to be recognized for character than skills and achievements. It shows who we are as people and as a nation,” added the PSC Chief.

UPSA President Dr. Jose Raul Canlas echoes the sports chief’s comments, explaining “It is nice to recognize an athlete not only for his athletic skills but also for his humanity. Holding surfing during the Southeast Asian Games is a milestone event. It paved the way for the ISA to recognize the region and allowed Roger to be also recognized.”

According to Ramirez, this award shows that beyond the overwhelming victory of the national team — which copped the overall championship of the Games — the values it taught our youth and people form part of the Games’ legacies. “Seven months after the Games, we are still feeling the pride that our national athletes achieved for the Filipino people. Truly, sports is advocacy that keeps on giving,” remarked Ramirez, who served as CDM for the second time the country won top honors in the multi-sport event.

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The award was inaugurated in 1965, and past recipients are heroic and notable humanitarian figures including Sergey Bubka (athletics), László Papp (boxing), Miguel Indurain (cycling) among others (fairplayinternational.org). It is set to be officially given to Casugay on October 27. He is expected to fly to Monaco to personally receive the award, should the crisis permit. He also has an option to receive the award virtually.

Surfing made its debut in the recent biennial meet where the Filipino surfers finished as overall champions with two gold, two silver, and three bronze medals — including Casugay’s gold in the men’s longboard competition.

Casugay was the flag bearer of the host Philippines during the Closing Ceremonies held in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac last December.

Tiebreaker Times Roger Casugay becomes first Filipino to win international fair play award News Surfing  Roger Casugay Butch Ramirez

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