Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles called the twin victories of two Filipino athletes in world events over the weekend, historic and glorious moments for Philippine sports.

On Sunday, Nesthy Petecio won the 2019 Aiba Women’s World Boxing Championships in Russia, while on Saturday, Carlos Yulo became the First Filipino gymnast to win a world championship medal with his victory at the 41st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.

“The burden lies not only in our sports authorities but in all of government to ensure that we build on such wins.”

“This is really good news for our country. The victories of Ms. Petecio and Mr. Yulo underline the fact that we as a nation can achieve excellence and greatness,” Nograles said.

Nograles urged sports authorities to use the two triumphs as motivation in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games next month and the Olympics next year.

“In fact, the burden lies not only in our sports authorities but in all of government to ensure that we build on such wins. Kayang-kaya natin makipagsabayan,” he said.

The Palace official said that the whole sports community should row in one direction in terms of implementing nationwide a grassroots program for sports. Such a program would help identify talented prospects at a young age and train them in world-class facilities.

“Marami tayong kailangang pag-usapan pagdating sa sports. Asahan po ninyo na mataas sa agenda ng Pangulo ang bagay na ito,” he added.

Nograles said that the Petecio victory could be attributed in part to a grassroots program in Davao City.

The boxer belonged to the Oplan Kamao boxing program that was spearheaded by the former three-term lawmaker of the city’s first district.

According to Nograles, “it was a boxing program we developed where we go down to the Barangay level in Davao City to bring out from the grassroots young boys and girls who have a potential for boxing. Our program also developed the likes of the Moralde brothers who have also made a career for themselves in professional boxing. Nesthy was a regular participant in our Oplan Kamao program.”

“We used to call it “The Search for Junior Pacman” as we held it during the height of Manny Pacquiao’s popularity and boxing career following a long string of victories in the international scene.”


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