New Filipino sports league helps create community on P.E.I.
Every weekend, basketball teams gather in Charlottetown and Cornwall to play in a winter league with a difference.
Created by the new Filipino Sports League P.E.I., the league is made up of around 230 people on 16 teams from western P.E.I., the south shore/Borden-Carleton area, and the cities of Summerside and Charlottetown.
"The main purpose of the organization is really to unite Filipinos all across P.E.I.," said organizer Con Dela Cruz.
"This is the time. There's so many Filipinos coming here to work ... We'd like to offer them some kind of enjoyment in a sports way."
Dela Cruz said Filipinos love sports, especially basketball.
"In every corner of the Philippines, you'll see people playing basketball. So this is a very good chance for everybody just to feel at home. And know that they are supported, especially on the sports side of things. And we are all here to organize and facilitate that," she said.
Dela Cruz was part of a Filipino sports fest held in 2013, and she's also involved in a Maritime-wide volleyball league. She said that's made her more dedicated to organizing the P.E.I. league.
Terence Halili lives in Summerside, but comes to Charlottetown and Cornwall for practices and games.
"We commit to driving here ... unless there's snow storms in the winter. But we'll get through it and we'll be here and we'll show up and we'll do our best," he said.
"I feel like this is a vital part of the Filipino community here, especially in the winter time."
Halili said he really enjoys getting together to play.
"We're just grateful that a committee like this assembled and we're able to gather every week to play the game we love to play. Go out there and see some friends you haven't maybe seen in weeks or months," he said.
Dela Cruz said the league is in the process of registering as a non-profit, and is looking at hosting other leagues and clinics in the future.
For more information, she suggests people check out the Filipino Sports League PEI Facebook page.