Start 'em young: Hidilyn Diaz's feat inspires beyond sports

Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal shines so brightly that even kids outside the sport felt motivated.

After watching Diaz’s historic feat in the Tokyo Olympics, 10-year-old Cheska Dorotan said she learned everything is possible with hard work and dedication.

Cheska, who learned how to crochet just a few months ago, has decided to use her newfound skills and help other people in need, much like the Filipino weightlifting star who has been generous with her time and talent.

One of Cheska's projects was a personalized doll for the Filipina gold medalist. According to the young girl’s mom, Lorraine, her daughter watched the Olympics for the first time and decided to craft a Hidilyn doll as a sign of appreciation.

Aside from the Hidilyn doll, the Grade 5 student from St. Paul College Pasig sold other self-made crocheted dolls and donated her earnings to various charities, including the ABS-CBN Foundation, Philippine General Hospital, and for the kids in their hometown in Bicol. 

“We can achieve anything if we work very hard and have passion for what we're doing. Dedication and belief in God are important,” said Cheska.

Diaz acknowledged Cheska’s gift through her Instagram and will most likely receive the doll as soon as the quarantine restriction eases.

Cheska learned how to crochet just seven months ago and started with simple projects such as bracelets, headbands, and coasters before crafting dolls. She learned crocheting by reading books given by her mom and watching videos on YouTube.

The prices of the crocheted dolls start at P250 and can go up to P1,250. Her dolls can be seen on her Instagram page @crochet_by_cheska.

Aside from her donations, Cheska is also planning to start a workshop in her hometown to teach other people how crocheting can become a source of income.

“She’s able to pursue her crochet passion and help others in the process,” said Lorraine. “She understands that a lot of people are in need of help especially during the pandemic.”

Although weightlifting is not yet on the radar for Cheska, she remains curious and explores various kinds of physical activities. She was part of her school’s varsity teams for volleyball and chess, and recently, she started how to ride a dirt bike.

“We try to expose Cheska to a variety of interests even if it's the pandemic. Her growth and development and passions shouldn’t be impacted,” said Lorraine.

“Very limited what kids can do these days. We try to be creative in terms of what she can do versus getting stuck with what she can’t do.”

And like Diaz, Cheska believes that everything is possible, even for a kid stuck inside her home because of the pandemic. As her mom said: “Even a 10-year old girl can make a difference.”