Senator Sonny Angara is confident the Philippines will produce more world-class athletes once the planned sports training facility is built at the soon-to-rise New Clark City in Tarlac.
As the principal author and vice chairman of the sports committee, Angara is set to sponsor a bill authorizing the construction of a state-of-the-art Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center (PASTC) to provide more support for Filipino athletes and boost the country’s performance in the Olympics and other international sports events.
The veteran legislator said that 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.
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.
The seasoned lawmaker 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.
“Wala po tayong duda sa puso at galing ng atletang Pilipino, ngunit paano po sila magtatagumpay kung ang kanilang kagamitan sa pagsasanay ay kulang o kaya naluluma na? Imagine if the government is more supportive of athletes? How many more Hidilyn Diaz’s or Philippine dragon boat teams will be there?” the youthful senator said.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz ended a 20-year Olympic medal drought for the Philippines after securing a silver in the women’s 53kg class in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.
Angara noted that Diaz herself could not hide her dismay over the current state of local sports facilities.
“Through her social media account, the Olympic champion lamented how nothing has changed with her weightlifting gym after more than 20 years, while showing cycling equipment with seats torn apart in another post,” he said.
“These are the sad realities our athletes face but the fact that they succeeded despite lack of support speaks loads about their strength and spirit,” Angara pointed out. “Ang sabi nga: ‘partida pa ‘yan, paano pa kung may gamit pang-training?'”
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.
Angara 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 added.