The Marianas Variety, a local news publication, recently ran a special feature on Tan Holdings President Jerry Tan and his advocacy for sports and the value of giving back to the community.
The feature story, entitled “Giving Back to the Community for a Healthier CNMI,” was published last April 6th and written by Marianas Variety staff Emmanuel Erediano. The article focused on Tan’s love for football and sports in general, and how he is committed to not only developing football in the CNMI, but also in using the popularity of the sport itself as a means to give opportunities to less fortunate kids and help in values formation for the younger generation.
We are reprinting the said article below and acknowledging with heartfelt thanks the writer, Emmanuel Erediano as well as the Marianas Variety management, for commissioning the story for the ultimate benefit of sports and the youth in the CNMI.
Giving back to community for a healthier CNMI
06 Apr 2015
By Emmanuel T. Erediano – firstname.lastname@example.org – Variety News Staff
SPORTS, to many, is competition of strength, speed and other physical abilities, and to some, simply playing for fun.
But for Jerry Tan, the president of the company that has the longest commitment to sports here, it is more than just competition and playing for fun.
“Sports really, is an important part of healthy lifestyle,” Tan said in an interview.
Tan Holdings Corp. did not just support and sponsor sports events on the island. The company has organized many sports organizations and leagues that take things seriously. They continue to bring up local athletes not only for island events but for international competitions, as well. Aside from the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association and the Northern Marianas Badminton Association, Tan Holdings has also nurtured other organizations, teams and leagues like the Saipan Bowling Association, Tan Holdings Tennis Championships, Tan Holdings baseball teams, and many basketball tournaments.
Obviously, Jerry Tan who loves sports since he was a child has a vision for the sports in the CNMI.
Tan who grew up in Guam, and now made Saipan his home, said that as he grew older, “I start to realize that sports is more than just playing for fun.”
“Sports, as an important part of healthy lifestyle is something our island badly needs because we have a lot of different types of illness,” Tan said.
Gov. Eloy S. Inos has issued a non-communicable disease emergency directive noting that seven out of every 10 deaths in the CNMI are due to NCDs and/or NCD risk.
The Non-Communicable Disease Alliance has recently stated that the top five leading chronic diseases in the CNMI—all of which causes death and disability—are cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, renal disease, and diabetes.
World Health Organization official, Dr. Cherian Varghese who visited the island last month said, “NCD such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and lung diseases are a major problem for all Pacific islanders and CNMI is facing the brunt of these diseases.”
When asked about his vision of the sports in the CNMI, Tan said, “I feel that through sports, by maintaining an active lifestyle we can improve the overall health of the people here in the CNMI. So I look at sports, really as more on a healthy lifestyle.”
Tan used to play soccer in Guam and in Hong Kong. He stopped playing soccer for many years but he said “I never stopped loving sports.”
“Sport is a big part of my life,” he said.
So he also decided to build a sports complex in one of the company’s property in Gualo Rai — the Tan Siu Lin Sports Complex that houses the NMBA, the Saipan Soccer School and the futsal events, and accommodates basketball leagues ran by many different organizations on Saipan.
It is a multi-purpose gym, he said, and one of his company’s commitment to the island community.
That is something through which I see myself committing into sports and try to do whatever I can to influence people whether you are the young or the adult. Because we do want to see people grow healthy by playing sports and the TSL Sports Complex is another advantage especially during rainy season when people can still continue to do sports and keep themselves active,” he said.
With all these facilities, organizations and leagues that Tan Holdings have built and continue to run for many years now, one would wonder how much the company has invested for people’s healthy living through sports.
“Because I connect sports with health, and honestly, you cannot put a price on health, so it is worth every penny that we spend or invest in sports here,” he said.