by Jessel Laid
After doing the rounds of different national teams, sports associations and training venues and meeting stakeholders over the past weeks, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) board led by Chairman Richard Bachmann bared that plans for a consolidated national sports calendar and efforts to create more comprehensive grassroots sports programs to produce world-class athletes are in the works.
“We have to continue to cultivate the grassroots in order to feed the elite level with fresh talents,” said Bachmann, who is also batting for a consolidated national sports calendar.
“We do not have a lot of resources so a consolidated calendar would help us all avoid duplications, overlaps and allow us to prepare better.”
This week, Bachmann, together with his PSC Commissioners Edward Hayco, Olivia “Bong” Coo and Walter Torres visited Cebu and sat down with the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC), Cebu City Local School Board in Labangon Elementary School and Cebu City Sports Center, observing different local sports which trace their roots in the country’s oldest city.
The PSC officials also took part in the launching of the Guinness world attempt for the largest rhythmic gymnastics hula hoop workout. They also graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the PSC Regional Training Center for weightlifting, which was also attended by Tokyo Olympian and Southeast Asian Games medalist Elreen Ando.
The Carreta, Cebu City native is a current member of the Philippine weightlifting team and a product of Batang Pinoy (Philippine Youth Games), one of the PSC’s long-time centerpiece grassroots programs.
The PSC is also set to establish satellite offices all over the country to make sure the national sports agency has point persons to oversee the grassroots program in their respective areas.
“This is a good way to have more Elreen Andos, and Hidilyn Diazes in Philippine sports. I hope we can develop more homegrown talent and strengthen our national team, and to nourish our chances of winning more Olympic gold medals in the future,” said the PSC chief.
Aside from checking on the sports facilities and training centers, the PSC board also paid a courtesy visit to the Office of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Undersecretary Terence Calatrava in Mandaue City, Cebu, where the latter pledged his support to the PSC on future collaborations in grassroots sports development in the region.
The PSC Board will wrap up the week in Zamboanga where a number of Philippine team members are based.(PSC)