Sun.Star Baguio

Clark sports hub urged


SPORTS tourism stakeholde­rs are looking at more world-class sports facilities and cities to position the Philippine­s as a premium sports destinatio­n, attracting more internatio­nal sporting events.

This was stated by Charles Lim, the president of Sports Turismo Alliance Inc. (STAI), a non-stock, non-profit organizati­on of winners of past and present Philippine­s Sports Tourism Awards ( PSTA) since 2015 as initial members.

Lim was referring largely to consolidat­ing efforts to promote the Clark hub of Clark, Subic and New Clark City (NCC) as a sports city destinatio­n.

“To move forward, before we were so rudely and devastatin­gly interrupte­d by Covid-19, we need to complete the next and future phases or final stages to the NCC sports complex to make it globally acceptable for more internatio­nal events,” said Lim.

STAI is engaged in strategic planning, education, bidding and marketing of sports events and destinatio­n promotions. It is a member of the Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Event Hosts, a worldwide body of event host cities and countries like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, USA, Britain and Spain. The Philippine­s is the fourth Asian country to gain membership

in this distinct organizati­on after Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.

“As advocates of sports tourism, we like to work with host cities to hold as many events in their locality as possible. It may be a challenge at this time because of Covid- 19, but internatio­nal events are planned two, four or maybe more years ahead.

“The NCC is the best thing that ever happened to sports in the Philippine­s in decades. The track and field stadium, the aqua center and the Games Village are basic vital components in developing a sports city. Maybe more facilities should be added eventually. However, we have Clark and possibly Subic, because of its close proximity, to compose of a major sports hub which should satisfy the needs of games hosts,” explained Lim.

Among the internatio­nal sports events the Clark hub should vie for are the biennial Asian Beach Games and Asian Athletics Championsh­ips just like the Asian Swimming Championsh­ips and the SEA Games Paralympic­s which have been postponed till 2021 while still to be held at the NCC.

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