A number of national sports associations (NSAs) in the country are pinning their hopes on President Rodrigo Duterte to bring positive change to Philippine sports.
“I think we can probably expect something [in this administration],” said Marcus Valda, secretary general of Wrestling Association of the Philippines in an interview with The Manila Times.
Valda is pertaining to William “Butch” Ramirez that Duterte appointed as chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). Ramirez is just returning to PSC post he once held from 2005 to 2009
“During his [Ramirez] previous term, he did a lot of things for re-educating the coaches. He also has put a lot of support in sports science in PSC including the coaches and general coaching skills seminar.”
“When he was a chairman, he is also accommodating and easy to talk to. I am glad he was chosen [to be PSC chairman]. He was proven quite effective during his short tenure,” said Valda.
Meanwhile, Luis Rivera Sr., secretary general of the Muaythai Association of the Philippines is hoping that the new administration would fully implement Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.
“That Republic Act is for the interest of our athletes. I know he [Duterte] is a pro-athlete. I just want them to continue to support the athletes and coaches. I believe change is coming,” said Rivera.
Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF) Secretary General Raymund Lee Reyes also sees change coming to Philippine Sports.
“I am happy that we have new leaders. Definitely, there will be changes and some may be retained. But, I believe that those in the seat of power now will really work on their responsibilities being the chairman of PSC and president of the Philippines. I also believe that they will continue the good programs of PKF. In behalf of karate, we will also do our best to be the change that we want in Philippine sports,” Reyes said.
For Squash Rackets Association of the Philippines President Robert Bachmann, what he hopes for is that Ramirez will continue the good programs of former PSC chairman Richie Garcia for the Philippine Squash Academy (PSA), “I am hoping that chairman Ramirez will continue the plans and programs for PSA,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann is also wishing for more international exposure for Filipino squash players.
“We will push for more international exposure because it is the only way for Philippine squash players to excel.”
“We will never improve if we will just play here. We need to send them out and have them experience the different levels of play abroad,” Bachmann concluded.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID