MANILA, Philippines -- Former Ateneo de Manila University star and Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) founder Charo Soriano plans to hit the ground running after her election to the board of the country's volleyball federation.
Soriano was one of seven board members elected Monday at the East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Parañaque City, when stakeholders of Philippine volleyball selected the officials who will lead the national sports association (NSA).
The new NSA, named Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF), has Ramon "Tats" Suzara as its president, Ariel Paredes as chairman, Arnel Hajan as vice-president, Donaldo Caringal as secretary-general, Rod Roque as treasurer, and Yul Benosa as auditor.
"It is truly such an honor to be part of the federation and to materialize our responsibility to make the dreams of the Filipino volleyball athletes come true," Soriano, the youngest member of the federation, said in a statement.
"At the end of the day, it is my personal calling and mission to give back to the sport that taught me so much about life -- on and off the court," she added.
On Twitter, Soriano expressed her gratitude for the support she has gotten from the volleyball community, as several former and current players offered their congratulations. Among those who wished her luck was national team captain Aby Marano, who said: "Kampante ako, nandiyan ka."
Soriano, for her part, said she is ready to get started.
"Now, the real work begins," she said. "Now, we focus on service, on bringing you the programs that our volleyball community truly deserves. We are all in this together, towards a brighter Philippine volleyball."
Joining Soriano in the PNVF board are Ricky Palou, Tony Boy Liao, Karl Chan, Carmela Gamboa, Fr. Vic Calvo, and Atty. Wharton Chan, who is the representative of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to the board.
The elections saw the stakeholders of Philippine volleyball -- including the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) and the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) -- come together for the elections that were overseen by the POC.
The FIVB had written the Olympic committee to call for elections of new officers, as the world governing body did not fully recognize either the LVPI or the PVF as the country's official federation.
"Admittedly, the road that paved the way toward a united volleyball community had many pitfalls," said Soriano.
"But today is different. Today is all about hope, unity, and commitment," she stressed.