De La Salle University offers a variety of course choices to its students but there is one where only selected students are allowed to enter, and that course is Sports Studies or in the Lasallian abbreviation, AB-SPM. Also called Sports Management by others, only athletes who represent the Green-and-White are eligible to take up this course. The idea that this program is not accessible to the rest of the student body makes this course unique in terms of its curriculum, course offerings, and even its post-graduate opportunities.
In this feature, The LaSallian sat down with a couple of athletes taking up the program and discussed their perspectives to have an overview of what AB-SPM really is.
History and perceptions
Sports Studies debuted as a course in the AY 2002-2003, under the College of Liberal Arts in the Behavioral Sciences Department. From then on, the course has aimed to enhance possible sports related careers for its students. Furthermore, the course seeks to tackle academic and field related experiences, in the hopes that students who graduate from this program would take into consideration the multi-dimensional learning experience.
Throughout their stay, the students under AB-SPM are often encouraged to take their subjects separately from the rest of the student body. The reason for the suggested separation is that the subjects taught to the SPM students are mixed with sports related cases. Despite the fact that this course is only offered to athletes, the school does not restrict them from shifting to other courses. Also, if they would want to stay in the College of Liberal Arts, the school offers them a LIA-LIA course which they can add to their flow chart.
A peek into the curriculum
AB-SPM, just like other majors, begins its course by offering the students its basic subjects like History of Sports, Sociology of Sports, and Sports Research. Some of its major classes include Sports Management (SPOMANT), Sports Photography (SPOFOTO), Group Process and Interpersonal Relations (GROPROC), and Introduction to Training and Development (SPORDEV).
Whereas, its electives offer a variety of more sports-related topics such as Sports, Medicine, and Technology (SPORMED), Introduksyon sa Pagsulat ng Balita (SPOJORN), and Sports Counseling (SPOCONS). The program gives students a wide range of knowledge in multiple fields with sports-related matters always at the center. Along with this, SPM majors are also required to conduct independent research writing and are assigned to have one practicum term.
Outlook of students
The Sports Studies course offered in DLSU is more flexible than most, as it teaches a broad range of activities. Rey Mayo (III, AB-SPM) of the Green Tennisters shares his insights regarding his major. “Parang hindi lang siya nakafocus sa isang bagay like other courses ng ibang university like Sports Science mga ganoon, nakafocus lang siya sa health. Yung sa atin, yung Sports Management parang as a whole siya, madami kang field na pwedeng puntahan,” Mayo explains. “I think mas madami kang learnings na nakukuha kasi madami siyang tinuturo.” he adds further.
(It’s not just focused on one thing like other courses in other universities, such as Sports Science, stuff like that, that are focused on just health. In ours, Sports Management is a whole course where it gets you ready for various fields. I think there are a lot things that you will learn and gain because a lot is taught.)
As for his teammate, LA Cañizares (V, AB-SPM), he believes the course also aids an individual in event organizing. “Basically, you organize sports events like for example, recreational events or like for example, for the kids there in Agno, you can make sports event for them. Basically Sports Studies is being creative and recreational.” Canizares claims.
Occupational opportunities such as sports business and organizational management, sports communication including marketing and promotion, as well as sports technology and innovation are possible opportunities for these graduates. Mayo appreciates the diverse form of education from the course, but the junior seems to be leaning towards their family business when it comes to the future. “Pero maapply ko pa din siya sa business namin kasi may mga management subjects, if kumuha din akong Psychology, alam ko din kung paano sila kausapin ng maayos, I mean maiintidihan ko sila kung bakit sila ganoon.” he expounds.
(I can still apply it to our business because there are management subjects. If I get Psychology, I would also know how to communicate in the correct way, I mean I would understand why they are the way they are.)
Meanwhile, Cañizares has a lot in mind when it comes to future plans which includes coaching. “If you’re into sports management, you can find jobs related to sports; you can be a coach, you can be a sport director or organizer, handling events as long as it’s sports that we are tackling,” he says.
Despite it being just recently implemented, the Sports Studies program in La Salle equips student-athletes with knowledge not just in sports, but outside as well. It attempts to give students an experience in a different dimension of sports rather than just playing and being competitive. Moreover, it gives them a taste of other aspects that involve the realm of athletics.
A handful of specific careers can be drawn from its curriculum which may be also applied in other fields. “There are stereotypes for SPM that you will become a coach or PE Teacher, when in fact there’s a lot of opportunities that can match the course because the course is flexible.” Cañizares concludes.