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UAAP, NCAA SCHOOLS SUPPORT IN SEAG TRAINING URGED

The Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list on Sunday asked officials of member-schools of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to allow national athletes who are set to compete in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi next year to train using the facilities of the respective schools.

PBA Party-list spokesperson Atty. Migs Nograles made the request as Ramon Fernandez, the country’s SEA Games chef-de-mission, said the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is targeting the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and the PhilSports Complex in Pasig as potential bubble training venues for the SEA Games-bound athletes.

“Our athletes need all the support we can give them in order for them to be able to properly train and prepare for the SEA Games.”

However, this early, PSC officials have cautioned national sports associations to prepare backup plans in case the government-owned facilities are unavailable as they are currently being used as COVID-19 centers.

“In the event that the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and the PhilSports Complex are not available, perhaps the member-schools of the UAAP and the NCAA can lend their sports facilities to our national athletes, especially the schools who are not yet implementing face-to-face classes,” Nograles said.

“Our athletes need all the support we can give them in order for them to be able to properly train and prepare for the SEA Games,” she added.

Nograles also broached the possibility of the national athletes training together with the varsity team members of the schools willing to accommodate the SEA Games delegates.

The Davaoeña lawyer however said that having the national and varsity athletes play together in training bubbles would only be possible if the college athletes have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Win-win situation yan. The varsity athletes of the schools will get to train and play against world-class athletes and at the same time, magkakaroon naman ng maayos na training facilities ang national athletes natin,” she said.

The Davaoeña lawyer however said that having the national and varsity athletes play together in training bubbles would only be possible if the college athletes have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Heath protocols must still be observed, of course. But I do not see why our collegiate and national athletes can’t train together if everyone is already vaccinated,” she said.

Some SEA Games athletes have already begun training including karate, which started last month in Baguio City. Swimming has also held the first of many qualifying races last month at the New Clark Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac, while athletics will hold its selection meet in December.

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