Categories
Sports

Enrique M. Razon Sports Center: The history of a landmark

Taxonomy should begin to classify buildings as living things because every single one in De La Salle University seems to be alive.

Its doors have welcomed several generations of Lasallians into the University’s walls for new experiences and opportunities. Its lights have been giving inspiration and hope for the Lasallians who have been exerting effort in their chosen paths. Its walls have witnessed numerous events that Lasallians would remember from time to time. Among all the edifices inside the campus, there is one place in particular where Lasallians have made memories to make their stay in La Salle even more unforgettable. After years of encouraging Lasallians to express their athletic side, it is time to put this building under the spotlight.

Your first encounter with the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center, or more commonly known as the Razon building, was probably during your physical education classes as a freshman. After the completion of your PE courses, you somehow still find yourselves going to the place occasionally. Either you spend time playing different sports with your friends or watching the school’s athletes practice for their competitions. In order to make your next visit at the Razon building even more worthwhile, let us look back on how the building came to life.

DSC_5297
The ninth floor basketball court of the Enrique M. Razon Sports Complex.

 

 

How the building came about

Before being dubbed as Enrique M. Razon Sports Center, it was previously known as the Br. Athanasius Sports Complex named after Br. Lucian Athanasius Reinhart, a former president of the University. La Salle’s sports center was originally situated at where Yuchengco Hall stands today before being demolished in 2000. With its new location at the corner of Fidel Reyes Street and Noli Street, the ten-storey building was erected in 1998.

Enrique Razon Jr. came into the picture five years later where he donated 50 million pesos for the sports development of the university. Half of the donation was utilized to innovate the 9th floor gymnasium, while the other half was allotted for athletic scholarships and the improvement of other sports facilities. After Razon’s contribution to the University, the building was renamed as the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center in February 2003, named after his father who was an alumnus and athlete of La Salle. Up to this date, this sports center has been housing the physical education courses of Lasallians and has served as the training ground of the University’s skilled athletes.

 

What’s inside Razon?

Inside the structure are top-notch facilities that La Salle can be proud of. The ground floor hosts an Olympic-sized swimming pool used by the DLSU swimming teams, swimming classes, and those people who just want to enjoy the time making splashes in the water. Found in the ground floor are also the lockers that can be rented by the students, an extension of the university clinic, shower areas, and a passageway to the Science and Technology Research Center. There is a balcony overlooking the swimming pool in the second level where the spectators can stay. Adjacent to it is an indoor archery range where adept archers can train. The Store @ DLSU is also found here where La Salle merchandise can be bought, more importantly, the P.E. uniforms. In case you get hungry and you are in the vicinity of the building, you can drop by at the canteen located at the same floor.

From the third to the sixth floors are parking spaces exclusive for DLSU faculty and students. In fact, the venue is also sometimes used for the training of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) of the National Service Training Program (NSTP).

Most would find themselves going to the seventh level of the building because this is where the playing courts are located. Students can borrow sports equipment in this floor which they can use for their own benefit. The office of the Physical Education Department and a classroom can also be found in this floor. An indoor track-and-field is stationed in the eighth floor overlooking the playing courts together with a couple more of classrooms.

 

Retired Jerseys

 

Finally, the ninth level of the Razon building is the home to La Salle’s gymnasium, along with the Office of Sports Development, a weight training gym, and a staircase leading to more classrooms in the tenth floor. Iconic Lasallian athletes have their numbers retired and elevated in the rafters here namely Lim Eng Beng (#14), Ren-Ren Ritualo (#4), Kurt Bachmann (#33) for basketball, and Manilla Santos (#14) for volleyball. Soon, we may witness another number being retired due to the great run made by the Lady Spikers in the past seasons.

 

An unfortunate accident

The Razon building has been the home to a lot of sporting events that Lasallians actively participate in. Despite all the success that each occasion brings, there was one particular accident that Lasallians in the early years of the building would never forget.

During an exhibition match sponsored by the College of Engineering at the 9th floor gymnasium last November 2002, Green Archer Miguelito “Migs” Gozum had a bad fall and eventually passed away. The news shocked the whole Lasallian community as no one expected it to happen to a young man who was only 21 years old. Other than this story about the demise of a great athlete, the building is also known for some eerie stories regarding the presence of mysterious beings who haunt visitors especially late at night.

 

16 years of stories

Already at its 16th year, the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center has been the venue for many memorable events in recent Lasallian history, particularly in the world of sports. Many victories have been accomplished, many obstacles have been triumphed, and many lessons have been learned within the building’s walls.

As Razon continues to live along with the different generations of Lasallians, there are still plenty of eloquent stories waiting to be uncovered where even you can take part of.

 

By Deniel de los Reyes

19 replies on “Enrique M. Razon Sports Center: The history of a landmark”

Leave a Reply