(First of two parts)
Former Senator Nikki Coseteng once said that if there is one sports agency that merits a national award for grassroots developmental program for swimming, it would be the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) because of its commitment to the development of Filipino swimmers despite the absence of assistance from the government and private sector.
The PSL, founded six years ago made its presence felt by its active participation in international competitions like the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and Olympics. In addition, the PSL holds regular monthly age group competitions (regional) and join interclub tourneys in Asia, Australia, Africa, North America and Europe.
In six years, it has conducted a 106-leg series across the country or more than one competition per month. These tourneys include the Mayor Kid Pena Swim Meet held in January and March in Makati City, the Class B, C and Motivational Meets in Quezon City, the PSL-RPM Swim Meet 2016 in Calapan City, Mindoro in February, the PSL-Bicol Swim Meet 2016 in Legazpi City in March, the 3rd Cong Ted Haresco Jr Swim Meet in Kalibo, Aklan and Boracay in April, the 9th Sen. Nikki Coseteng Swimming Championship in Quezon City in May, the 2016 PSL-DPS Novice and Motivational Summer Swim Meet Leg 1, Leg 2 and Leg 3 in Quezon in June, July and September respectively, the 2016 Top 16 Swimming Championship in Quezon City and Visayas Region, the Novice and Motivational Summer Swim Meet in Kalibo, Aklan in July, the 4th El Presidente Swim Cup in Legazpi City in August, the Class A&B, C and Novice Swim Meet in Quezon City in October, the Class C-Novice Swim Meet and PSL Long Course Swim Meet both in November in Quezon City and at the Rizal Memorial Pool in Manila, the Langoy Capiz 2016 in Roxas City, Capiz, and the 10th Sen. Nikki Coseteng Swimming Championship in Quezon City in December.
In 2016, among the international competitions that PSL participated in are the Japan Winter Kanto Championship in February in Tokyo, the 2016 Indian Ocean All-Stars Challenge in Perth, Australia in March, the CNEF Stingrays Invitational Meet in May in Hong Kong, the 12th Singapore Island Country Club Invitational Swim Meet and the 22nd SSC Open Invitational Midget Meet 2016 in August and September both in Singapore, the Buccaneer Invitational Swim Meet in Japan in October and the Hamilton Aquatics Winter Long Course 2016 this month in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
A total of four hundred forty-eight (448) swimmers and forty-four (44) coaches have been given subsidy when they competed in the aforementioned international competitions.
Among the notable products of the PSL are Kyla Soguilon (Swimmer of the Year), Michaela Jasmine Mojdeh (2016 Philippine Sportswriter Association Tony Siddayao award) and Sean Terence Zamora (2015 and 2016 Philippine Sportswriter Association Tony Siddayao awards).
Soguilon was also the 2016 Palarong Pambansa Most Outstanding Swimmer in the Girls Elementary Division.
Meanwhile, Zamora surpassed Joseph Schooling’s (who beat Michael Phelps in the 2016 Rio Olympics) record in SICC events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and even in the Individual Medley event that the Singaporean Schooling ruled when he was 15. Zamora posted 28.97 (29.48) in 50m Backstroke, 1:01.97 (1:02.16) in 100m butterfly, (1:02.95) in 100m backstroke and 2:16.72 (2:21.17) in 200m IM.
Jerard Dominic Jacinto is the Junior national record holder in 50m backstroke (27.33), 100m backstroke (59.06) and 200m backstroke (2:09.65), which he achieved in October during the 79th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
At 15, Jacinto holds the fastest backstroke record in the country, beating all college swimmers including national team member Axel Ngui.
If Jacinto competed in the 2016 Sea Games Age Group event, he could have been a podium finisher for the Philippines because of his prowess in backstroke.