Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By June Navarro @junavINQ

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have revived the tested godfather system of training the national athletes.

But instead of soliciting the support of the private sector, both agreed to seek the backing of local government units (LGUs) on the build-up of Team Philippine­s for the 31st Southset Asian Games (SEAG) in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Nov. 21-Dec. 2.

The consensus was reached on Thursday between POC president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino and PSC Commission­er Ramon Fernandez, the country’s chef de mission to the SEA Games, after the PSC earmarked P200 million for the Games.

“What if the P200 million allocated budget falls short?’’ asked Tolentino while pointing out that half of the funds will be

aside for the actual participat­ion of the 626-athlete delegation which sees action in 39 sports.

Fernandez said they are targeting to start on July 1 for the bubble training of sports that currently don’t have a partner LGU, whose officials are willing to adopt teams and sponsor their accommodat­ion, training facilities and meals, among others.

Tolentino, a representa­tive from the eighth district of Cavite province, has committed to emeast brace cycling and skateboard­ing in Tagaytay City where he was a former three-term mayor. Tolentino also heads PhilCyclin­g.

“Some LGUs would perhaps like to act as godfathers to our athletes. We are very open to this,’’ said Fernandez.

Several national sports associatio­ns have taken the initiative of asking LGUs for help, with fencing (Ormoc City), archery (Dumaguete City) and weightlift­ing (Zamboanga City,

Bohol and Cebu) among them.

Muay fighters have been preparing to set up camp in Baguio City while kickboxing is eyeing Benguet as a place of refuge to train away from the danger of contractin­g the deadly coronaviru­s disease.

They broached the idea of moving the training of athletes out of Metro Manila and adjacent provinces due to the skyrocketi­ng cases of COVID-19 that has resulted in lockdowns.

 ?? —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO ?? POC president Bambol Tolentino
—INQUIRER FILE PHOTO POC president Bambol Tolentino

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