Senator Sonny Angara said the recent death of a junior member of the Philippine wushu team underscores the need to update existing government sports facilities to ensure the safety and health of Filipino national athletes.
Angara, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, also expressed his sympathies to the family of 12-year-old wushu athlete Rastafari Daraliay, who died at the dormitory of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila over the weekend.
“It is always unfortunate to hear of a young Filipino dying, especially one with so much potential. I wholeheartedly sympathize with the Daraliay family during this trying time,” the seasoned legislator said.
“It is always unfortunate to hear of a young Filipino dying, especially one with so much potential.”
According to news reports, Daraliay died after falling from the top bunk of a double-deck bed inside the athlete’s dormitory early Saturday morning.
Daraliay reportedly fell from his bed at around 3 a.m., but got back up and returned to sleep. Hours later, he was found with his mouth frothing. He later died at the hospital.
The veteran lawmaker said Daraliay’s death was a “grim reminder for the need to update government sports facilities–all of which in poor condition.”
“While the Philippine Sports Commission has laid out their plans to rehabilitate our existing facilities in Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and Philsports Complex, urgent attention to this matter should be prioritized,” the senator pointed out.
Incidentally, the Senate was poised on Monday to approve on third and final reading a bill authorizing the construction of the state-of-the-art Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center (PASTC) at the New Clark City in Tarlac province.
“As we anticipate the approval of the bill which will create a new state-of-the-art sports complex for our national athletes, government should ensure that all facilities to be built will comply with our set safety standards,” he said.
“We cannot expect our national athletes to perform at their best if they do not feel safe and comfortable in their own training grounds,” Angara added.
Angara is the principal author of PASTC bill which aims to provide more support for Filipino athletes and boost the country’s performance in the Olympics and other international sports events. He is currently the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports.
According to Angara, training centers “reflect the state of sports in a given country, and particularly, the support being given.”
These facilities, coupled with top level coaching and access to international competition, are key drivers of an effective sports system as these directly affect athletes, he explained.
Angara said the new training center will serve as a source of reassurance to national athletes, who, despite being deprived of world-class training and facilities, still managed to bring honor and pride to the country.
Under the proposed measure, the PASTC will be among the primary facilities at the Philippine Sports City in Clark that would serve as a venue for major international sports events, including the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the country will host next year.
The sports facility will adopt a scientific approach in training athletes using modern equipment. It would also house athletes to allow unhampered and immersive training for major tournaments, including facilities for expert coaching and referee development.
He said the PASTC would be a milestone in the effort to uplift the state of Philippine sports and “a commitment of support to our athletes on and off-season.”
With the renewed hope brought about by the proposed legislation, Angara said “a reinvigorated culture of sports should permeate throughout the country.”
“This legislation would move us forward in sports. The PASTC will create new Olympians, produce future hall-of-famers, and, most importantly, empower the Filipino to win,” he concluded.
“The Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center will create new Olympians, produce future hall-of-famers, and, most importantly, empower the Filipino to win.”