We have yet to see positive changes in Philippine swimming as well as sports in general as the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) implements reforms.
The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) is working hard to do its part considering our country is behind by 15 years in this sport. In fact, swimmers Maurice Sacho Ilustre and Bhay Newberry had their early exposure in international competitions through the effort of the PSL.
In the past, Filipino swimmers used to win in the Asian Games and the SEA Games. Not anymore.
Philippine Swimming Inc (PSi) Secretary-General Lani Velasco must show sincere intent to reunite the Philippine swimming community.
Our dreams to be great will never happen if we are not united.
The PSi must open the tryout for the selection of members of National Team to all Filipino Citizen – this crucial step will end all conflict in the Philippine swimming community.
For this to become reality, the PSC must impose its authority and functions.
As instructed by our President Rodrigo Duterte, the PSC must unify Philippine sports and strengthen the country’s grassroots development program. The PSC must also determine the legitimate athletes qualified for government support.
Two years ago, a FINA World Champion Maxim Rooney, a dual citizen (a natural born Filipino born in a foreign country) who has a better time record than Joseph Isaac Schooling wants to become a member of the Philippine National Team but was barred from the tryout.
In a beauty contest, the most beautiful girl wins. In Philippine swimming, let the top Filipino swimmers join the tryout and those with best time records join the national team.
It is time to implement this change since Mark Joseph, the president of the PSi is out of the country as criminal charges hound him.
If Velasco ignores this call then the PSC must intervene.
The old and unjust system of the PSi has shattered the dreams of many talented Filipino swimmers who want to bring glory to their country.
The PSL with its legal team is willing to challenge the system of the PSi.
“The change must be now. We must do it, because no one will do it for us and we must begin now,” former Senator Nikki Coseteng said.
“The PSi is not exempted to the law of the land and the sports agency governing the sports, which is the Philippine Sports Commission,” Coseteng ended.