Philippine Swimming League head Susan Papa dies
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Swimming League (PSL) president Susan Papa died on Sunday, May 19, succumbing to stage 4 cervical cancer.
She was 64.
"Please allow me to take this opportunity to let all of you know that my dear Tita Susan did a handover to a group of passionate, trustworthy group of individuals that will continue to operate and keep her legacy alive. PSL is in good hands," wrote her nephew Philbert Papa on her Facebook page.
Papa joined the national team at the age of 11 through her achievements in the Palarong Pambansa. (WATCH: Susan Papa promotes Palarong Pambansa)
She represented the Philippines in several international competitions, including the 1974 Asian Games held in Tehran, Iran, where she won a bronze in the women's 4x100m medley relay with Grace Justimbaste, Nancy Deano, and Betina Abdula.
After her national team stint, Papa devoted her time to coaching budding Filipino swimmers across the country.
However, the PSL clashed with national federation Philippine Swimming Incorporated (PSI) that was previously led by Mark Joseph, who passed away last March.
Papa's group was considered as "unauthorized" by PSI. This led to membership issues that hampered her swimmers from joining FINA-accredited competitions such as the Southeast Asian Games, world championships, Asian Games, and Olympics.
The PSL chief, who advocated for unity in Philippine swimming, argued that most swimmers cannot afford the membership fee to join the national federation.
In order for PSL swimmers to solidify their presence in the country's swimming scene, Papa encouraged them to join invitationals with the help of sponsors and to nab an Olympic chance by hitting the Qualifying Time A. (READ: Is there a chance for a PSL swimming prodigy to finally join the PH team?) – Rappler.com