PH Sports Institute brings high hopes for grassroots development
MANILA, Philippines - Regional training centers to cultivate sporting talent are on the verge of becoming a reality as the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) was inaugurated Monday, January 15 at the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Multi-Purpose Arena in Pasig City.
The PSI is PSC’s main project for formulating a “true, genuine talent identification program” that starts at the community level, said PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez in his welcome address during the inauguration.
“As I was coming here, I became speechless of the seriousness that I’m facing in the Philippine Sports,” said Ramirez. From the time that Ramirez took over as PSC chairman, the country’s sports governing body have been working nonstop in aligning their programs with the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte for a grassroots change.
PSC held consultative meetings with all sports stakeholders since September last year and they found out that the best prescription for Philippine sports is strengthening the grassroots program by opening 12 regional training centers.
According to Ramirez, there is no need to bring athletes to the Ultra for training as they can now be developed in their respective provinces.
Aside from the regional training centers, Ramirez said that another demand for the betterment of Philippine sports is to also focus on sports medicine by putting up a sports science center to be manned by sports psychologists, physiologists and nutritionists, among other specialists.
“The strength of the nation depends on the strength in the periphery, in the community based on constitution, duty of state to build a healthy vibrant citizen in the community, quality of life of every Filipino,” said Ramirez.
With the PSI inauguration, the PSC will continue to partner with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the National Sports Association (NSA) despite the differences that the organizations are currently having with regards to unliquidated funds. However, Ramirez said that if the partnership will fail, it will be the last this year.
All these realizations are geared towards making the athletes the focus in sports development and no one else not even the officials, as pointed out by POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, who also attended the PSI inauguration.
P1 Billion Pledge
PSC will be allocating P25 Million for the PSI, however, the funding may get boosted with Dennis Uy, the presidential adviser for sports and president/chief executive officer of Phoenix Petroleum, pledging to come up with P1 Billion for Philippine sports.
“All of us here, I believe, have this vision of having a concrete grassroots sports development program that will reach even the farthest towns in the Philippines. We also wish to further develop our elite athletes program and at the end win that much coveted gold medal in the Olympics. We can now realize all these through the Philippine Sports Commission's main program – the Philippine Sports Institute,” said Uy.
As cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr said “Let us be reminded of the story of Emmanuel Pacquiao and Elma Muros-Posadas who fought their way to become highly respected individuals because of sports. Let us make exceptions to the rule.” – Rappler.com