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.