Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa appointed multi-titled mentor Edwin Valdez as regional director for Region 4-A (Calabarzon Region) in an effort to strengthen the association’s grassroots development program in the country.
Valdez recently received the Coach of the Year award during the PSL Awards Night held at the Boracay Regency Convention Center. His team has been a consistent overall champion as it sends an average of 20 swimmers every competition.
“Nung natangap ko ang tawag kay President Susan Papa, nagpasalamat ako sa pagtitiwala na binigay nya sa akin at sinabi ko sa kanya na pagbubutihin at aalagan ko ang position na binigay nya sa akin,” said Valdez.
“Wala na akong mahihiling pa. Wala kaming binabayaran na membership fee sa PSL, kaya nakakapagbigay ako ng tulong sa maraming bata na gusto lumangoy at nabibigyan ng scholarship sa team naming,” Valdez added.
The PSL has the longest grassroots development program in swimming in the country, having more than once a month local and regional competition, and at least eight international competition a year.
When Papa was still swimming for her team in college, she visits public school swimming pool and found Valdez in Bagong Buhay when he was seven years old.
“Bumibisita siya ng 5 a.m. at isa ako sa mga bata noon na binibigayan ng training at masaya kami pagkatapos dahil binibili kami ng pandesal at yong pinapanalunan ni coach Susan na chocolate drink pinapainom nya sa amin,” narrated Valdez.
Papa recalled the incident. “I am happy that after many years of no communication I met Edwin again in 2010, just in time when we are establishing PSL. And he responded very well, his objectives as a coach is parallel to PSL,” said Papa.
“It takes a lot of heart and soul, and must be passionate in handling the swimming community. The conflicts between coaches, parents and swimmers must be avoided. PSL is trying to catch up with the lack of foundation to all concerns, the reason why we can not produce world class swimmers,” Papa continued.
“The PSL is looking on that angle and trying to solve that. We will patiently look at the matter of coaches depriving their swimmers to participate because of their personal self motives,” ended Papa.
Valdez will be part of the coaching staff going to the 28th World Summer Universiade Games to be held in Gwangju, South Korea on July 3 to 14.
“I thank PSL for the opportunities and I will surely cherish it and take care of the task assigned to me,” Valdez concluded.