As the dust settles from the recent Olympic competition, the Philippine Sports Commission is not leaving anything to chance as it gears up to make its mark in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
This time around, the Commission puts its best foot forward for such task as it inaugurates the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) on January 16 at the Multi-Purpose Arena (MPA), Philsports Complex (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City.
PSC Chairman William Ramirez said PSI has already laid out plans as its initial preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
He added that the institute intended to hire more competent people to better assist our athletes when they compete abroad that will be a new norm.
“We will be hiring more people. Definitely every time our national athletes compete internationally, we will send a full team of sports medicine personnel to support team,” said Ramirez.
The PSC Chairman added that for the Tokyo Olympics they plan to look for a training venue in the Japanese capital to better prepare the athletes.
“This way our Olympians will acclimatize ideally during the time of Olympics, between August and September, they will travel in Tokyo, to be able to get used to the weather, the people, mode of transportation and traffic, the life style there, so by 2020, our athletes will be there earlier, I think this will be the earliest, we are talking here of months, or minimum of 6 weeks.” said Ramirez.
“They (Olympians) will be in Tokyo before the Olympics starts, we will not be bringing athletes in just a matter of hours before they compete in the Olympics, this time we will plan it out carefully we will give them the support that they need. That is just the initial salvo of PSI in 2020 Olympics,” he added.
Moreover, the Commission has earmarked a large sum to purchase equipment that will help in the athletes’ training. This new equipment will be part of PSI’s services to the athletes.
“PSI will have its mark in the field of sports science support to our elite athletes. PSC has earmarked big amount to purchase equipments that will help athletes in their training, better equipment in our Strength and Conditioning Gym. We will have more diagnostic equipment for them to help our injured athletes. And even help the training of our athletes,” said Ramirez.
For his part, PSI National Training Director Marc Edward Velasco said PSI also plans to bring in experts from abroad to assist in our sports development program.
“This time around we are not limiting ourselves to PSC premises, we are going out: (we have) Russia, China, the Koreans are actually reaching out to us asking us how they can help us.” said Velasco.
The Commission has expressed its interest in hiring more foreign coaches to help train out elite athletes. PSC plans to beef up its potential Olympians in the sports of fencing, shooting, rowing, gymnastics and even figure skating.
At the same time the PSI is partnering with the University of the Philippines College of Human Kinetics and United States Sports Academy to develop educational programs suitable for those who want to venture in the field of sports as a full time profession.
This forward thinking does not end here, as the PSI envisions a bigger pool of competent athletes that it will harvest from across the nation. The Institute aims to educate not only the athletes, coaches and would-be sports professionals but the parents as well, which is a very big factor in a child’s possibility of staying longer in sporting environment.
The institute will propagate proper coaching method to make it safer for kids to be involved in sports.
“From there like I said, we will have better yield of athletes, better quality, as we have more pool of them. When we have more pool that means we have a more powerful ammunition,” said Velasco.
PSI intends to level up the competition level in the Philippine National Games, by improving quality of competitors with its grassroots program.
“The PNG will not be taken lightly because the competition will be a lot tougher. So they (national athletes) will really be fighting for their spot. With that it creates an environment of healthy competition,” said Velasco.
Velasco stresses that a Sports Institute is what the Philippines lacks in terms of sports, and should follow suit the trend of other countries have done to achieve sports excellence.
“In other countries they put emphasis in sports because they know that sporting excellence does not only cost money but personnel, resources, it cost them science, not only in the elite but also in the grassroots (level). I think PSI is the medicine maybe the Philippine Sports need.” Velasco added.