The eight-member Philippine Swimming League (PSL) team vowed to give it their best shot in the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala set on February 8 to 10 at the University of Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center in Cape Town, South Africa.
Reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) champion Denjylie Cordero of the University of the Philippines banners the squad along with promising tankers Emanuel Joshua Lorbes, McTracy Alindogan, Jifrey Azor, Portia Kate Doragos, John Carlo Doragos, Kyla Soguilon and seven-year-old Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh.
“My modest goal is to win four out of eight events that I’ll be competing. I’m also looking to surpass the national record in the 200-meter individual medley,” said the 21-year-old Cordero.
Cordero, a former Palarong Pambansa standout, won five gold medals all in record fashion in the recent UAAP competition.
“The presence of world-class swimmers in this tournament will give a gauge on our athletes’ skills. Good competition is always welcome, it pushes the local bets to strive even harder,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
The PSL concentrates on talent identification in the grassroots level by working closely with its local chapters in different regions in the country.
“We have a busy calendar this year. We’d like to concentrate on bringing swimming in the Philippines to new heights,” Papa said.
Despite the lack of financial aid from the government, Papa stressed that help from private sector poured in to bankroll the participation of the swimmers in international competitions.
Some of those who gave assistance were former senator and Diliman Preparatory School President Nikki Coseteng, Unlitravel Online, Qatar Airways and Aqua Sphere.
“The effort we are putting here is no joke. It has to be recognized, it’s not a small matter. It’s a dream come true for a swimmer to compete in international level and represent our country. We are happy just to be part of the entire experience for them,” Coseteng said.
The participation of the PSL in the Cape Town meet was arranged by Consul of Georgia in the Philippines Buddy Cunanan, Philippine Honorary Consul in Cape Town Steven Chai-Mowitz, UWC Executive Member for Marketing and Public Relations Sandra Reynolds and UWC Aquatics Manager Glen Bentley in December last year.
“We extend our gratitude to all our friends who readily gave their time and resources to help us. It really boosts our effort to serve these swimmers. I hope many private individuals and corporation will come out to help not only for swimming but other sports as well,” Papa said.