SportsGreen Gallery: Rookie of the Year Patrick King Perez
Green Gallery: Rookie of the Year Patrick King Perez

Being a student athlete is never easy. Besides training and working on your craft, the daunting requirements that come from various schoolwork will haunt you throughout the semester. Sports Management major Patrick King Perez embraces that concept religiously. The well-experienced athlete has been practicing taekwondo for almost 17 years. He got his black belt last 2011 and has been representing the country for five years in a row ever since.

After a successful campaign in the UAAP Season 81 for the DLSU De La Salle Taekwondo (DELTA) Men’s Poomsae, The LaSallian sat down with Perez, who started his collegiate career on a high note as he bagged the Rookie of the Year (ROY) accolade and a championship under his belt.

 

A bag full of experiences

People always start somewhere. He found his calling when his mother, a taekwondo coach and instructor, brought him to the gym. His observation and interaction with the people present had him thinking that he might just end up like them. Years later, this idea came through as La Salle recruited him fresh out of high school. “I was recruited by DLSU two years ago to study in the Senior High [School] program. So, it’s kind of like my third year in DLSU as an athlete.”

Throughout his taekwondo career, Perez has always been level headed. He would be lying if he said that he never experienced hardships. In fact, joining the national team was a game changer as he had to adjust to his new coach. When asked about it, he expresses that he’s ready for the challenge. “Hardships in a sense na each one of you will be given tough training to the point na muntik mo ng sukuan ang pagiging national [team player] kahit one month ka pa lang sa team.”

(Hardships in a sense that each one of you will be given tough training to the point that you will almost give up on being in the national team even if you’ve just been there for a month.)

His stint in the national team was filled with never-ending lessons. Physical and mental preparations from his mentor, coach Jean Pierre Sabido, will forever be part of his work ethic. This time around, going into intense training with his current coach, Rani Ortega, pushes them to go beyond their limits. On top of that, Korean coaches train him for international exposure between major events. With everything set in stone, he was able to adapt well under the tutelage of coach Sabido, who also oversees the DLSU Taekwondo Team.

 

 

 

Rookie year

As a rookie, it’s normal to experience pressure coming into the season. “Malaki talaga expectation sa’yo ng lahat to bring home a gold medal,” Perez shares.

(Everyone’s expectation from you is to bring home a gold medal, which is really big.)

It’s no easy feat as the rookie from the Green-and-White tells The LaSallian that all of the UAAP schools have tried recruiting him. “They see you as another asset in getting a gold medal for the UAAP, but then I’ve decided to go [the] Animo way,” Perez shares.

“Super shocked talaga kasi yung last na may Rookie of the Year sa poomsae was way back Season 78 or 79 pa ata if I’m not mistaken,” Perez shares, citing that he found himself in tears of joy when he found out he was the awardee for ROY. He claims that the two years he spent waiting and focusing on training was very much worth it.

(It’s super shocking because the last time there was a rookie of the year in poomsae was way back Season 78 or 79, if I’m not mistaken.)

 

Moving forward

It doesn’t just stop in the UAAP for Perez. “After winning the Rookie of the Year [award], syempre ‘di pa rin tayo titigil sa training. Next goal ko now is to train hard to be selected for the 2019 SEA Games,” Perez discloses.

(After winning the rookie of the year [award], of course, we won’t stop training. My next goal for now is to train hard to be selected for the 2019 SEA Games.)

As for the next season of the UAAP, Perez and the rest of the team from Taft will continue joining preseason tournaments. “I’ll just do my best in every performance, so help me God,” Perez concludes.