Huelgas, Olympian Lacuna elected to 2nd POC Athletes' Commission
MANILA, Philippines – National triathlete Nikko Huelgas and Olympic swimmer Jessie Lacuna headlined the 5 members elected to the 2nd Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) athletes' commission on Saturday, January 11.
Huelgas, who served as the first athletes' commission chairman, and Lacuna are joined by former vice-chairman Cheska Altomonte, former Philippine Volcanoes captain Jake Letts and Philippine taekwondo jin Samuel Morrison.
Retired Philippine Blu Girl Altomonte tallied the most votes with 78 counts, followed by Huelgas with 71 and Lacuna with 69 votes. Current Philippine Rugby Football Union general manager Letts came in 4th with 60 votes, while Morrison rounded out the top 5 with 57 counts.
2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and national boxer Eumir Marcial also contended for a spot in the athletes' commission.
Two-time SEA Games gold medalist Huelgas is excited to work with the new set of officers for the commission that will serve from 2020 to 2024.
"It’s going to be bigger, definitely, from 2020 until 2024. There will be a lot more plans and everything is going to change sa structure because there will be more experienced people coming in, so definitely, the way we approach things as a commission will be far different from before," said Huelgas.
The national triathlete added that he was satisfied with the turnout of the election that was attended by 93 athletes and coaches, and supervised by POC secretary-general Ed Gastanes.
"I feel that we’ve gone a long way. I feel very fulfilled as a chairman with this attendance right now. A lot of people want to be elected, a lot of people wanted to vote. The support of the sec-gen is really hands on. The POC staff were really supportive and hardworking," added Huelgas.
"It feels that we matter as a commission and people are aware of what we’re doing and our plans."
In this term of the athletes' commission, the POC will require two Olympians – one male and one female – to represent the group in the monthly general assemblies.
Since the two-time Olympic swimmer has been elected as one of the officers, the national Olympic committee of the Philippines will decide on Lacuna's female counterpart.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires each national Olympic committee to establish an athletes' commission in order to bridge the problems of national athletes to the IOC. – Rappler.com