Senator Win Gatchalian is urging all stakeholders to sustain their support for Filipino athletes as the Philippines claimed an overall championship finish at the 30th SEA Games.
According to the lawmaker it is important for all sectors, including the government, academe and the private sector to strengthen the infrastructural, financial, and policy support to athletes considering their role in fostering national unity and boosting national pride.
“Nakita natin sa SEA Games kung paanong nagkaisa ang ating mga kababayan sa pagsuporta sa ating mga atleta. Ngunit hindi dapat dito sa SEA Games nagtatapos ang pagkakaisa natin para sa ating mga manlalaro. Sa puntong ito, mahalagang magkaisa rin tayo sa paghubog ng mga susunod pang henerasyon ng mga atletang magbibigay ng karangalan sa ating bansa,” Gatchalian said.
“Marami tayong mga mahuhusay na mga manlalaro at may nakahanda na tayong mga magagandang pasilidad na magbibigay sa kanila ng world-class training. Pagkatapos ng SEA Games, maaari nang gamitin ang mga pasilidad na ito para sa pagsasanay ng ating mga atleta,” he added.
Gatchalian reiterated the need to establish the Philippine High School for Sports (PHSS) as a crucial step for the grassroots development of sports. The proposed school will be built at New Clark City to develop future generations of Filipino athletes through physical education and sports development subjects. The Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture Chairman said that the rollout for the PHSS is being eyed by next year.
Gatchalian added that corporate sponsors and international donors will complement the efforts of the government to institutionalize academic support for sports. He also said that local governments should boost their sports programs and facilities while being on the lookout for potential talents.
“Sa pagpapalakas natin ng sports development, mahalagang magkaroon tayo ng holistic approach upang maibigay natin ang pangangailangan ng ating mga atleta sa bawat hakbang. Hindi lang natin susuportahan ang mga atleta natin pag sumabak na sila sa laban, sisimulan natin ang pagsuporta sa pinakamaagang pagkakataon,” Gatchalian said.
In 2005, the country was also the overall champion when it bagged 113 gold medals. For this year’s SEA Games competition, as of December 10, 2019, the Philippines has won 149 gold, 117 silver and 119 bronze medals. This year’s biennial meet is considered to be the biggest SEA games held with 56 sports and 530 events in 44 venues across the country. There were more than a thousand athletes who competed for the country.