The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) and other government agencies to intensify its search for future elite athletes through the development of grassroots programs of various sports all over the country.
PSC Chairman William Ramirez said the sports agency has forged an agreement with DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, Commission on Higher Education Chairman Patricia Licuanan and Department of Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge-Secretary Catalino Cuy to help the PSC find more talents at the grassroots level.
“We already started talking with the different local governments. In Tagaytay, there is cycling while boxing is strong in Cebu, General Santos and Bago City. Then, archery in Dumaguete is also strong and weightlifting in Zamboanga is popular,” Ramirez told reporters in a news conference on Monday at the PSC dining hall.
“In every identified area, we will help them by sending equipment and NSA (national sports association) coach,” Ramirez added.
The PSC chief said they would get some accredited coaches from different NSAs to train the 15 and 18-and-under athletes who will excel in the annual Palarong Pambansa and the Philippine National Games.
“We are crafting outstanding athletes after the Palarong Pambansa and they will be called as cadets. Four or five times a year, we will send them to competitions abroad like in the Asean Games and the Asian Youth Games,” said Ramirez, who attended the budget hearing of the PSC in the Senate after the news conference on Monday.
“Our current elite athletes should have a counterpart at the grassroots level now. So, when the time comes, these young athletes will have an experience.”
Ramirez said the collaboration with DepEd and other agencies will also boost the NSAs and coaches’ educations, the talent identification program and athletes’ development.
Meanwhile, the PSC is planning to remove Batang Pinoy from its calendar next year and focus on helping the Palarong Pambansa. Ramirez will also support the upcoming National Consultative Meeting for Collegiate Sports on October 17 and 18 at the Philsports Complex, which will be attended by athletic associations, schools and other universities all over the country.
Ramirez is also scheduled to meet the NSA leaders from October 26 to 31 at the Philsports Arena in a one-on-one consultative meeting to discuss their plans for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.