Figure skater Michael Martinez is back in the country to hold a three-day skating camp on June 15 to 17 at the SM Mall of Asia ice skating rink in Pasay City.
“It has always been my hope to begin a formal program in the Philippines in which I could help raise more Filipino figure skaters ready for the international arena,” said Martinez in a news conference on Tuesday at Aristocrat in Malate, Manila.
The 19-year old Martinez, who returned from gruelling competitions and religious training abroad, will be training on and off the ice with over 80 kids in the Manila camp.
Martinez was the first skater from the Southeast Asian region and figure skater from a tropical zone country to qualify for the Olympics and the only one to represent the Philippines during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The skating camp program will feature three division including beginners, intermediate and advance.
“We at the SM Skating, would like nothing more than to support Michael in his dream to develop budding skaters into Olympic athletes,” said CJ Suarez, SM Lifestyle and Entertainment Inc. sports and development head.
“We always want to reach out. We will never stop harnessing and producing good ice skaters,” added Suarez.
After the Manila leg, Martinez will be heading to SM Seaside City Cebu (SCC) on July 1 to conduct the same training camp.
On June 18 at SM Megamall and July 2 at SM SCC, Martinez, along with other 2015 Philippine national figure skating champions, will star in an Ice Show as well as a meet and greet opportunity.
“We hope to have this camp in place annually during Michael’s off-season and we are also hoping that this doesn’t only create an interest in the sport, but also create a bigger spark in skaters to give them a push towards training harder to achieve their goals,” Suarez said.
After his last leg in Cebu, Martinez is set to fly back to the United States to prepare for the next competition season in August, the Asian Trophy which will be held in Manila.
For inquiries, visit www.smskatingrink.com.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID