The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) through Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Founding Chairman/President Dante Jimenez and former Senator and PSL Chairman Nikki Coseteng is seeking recognition from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as the country’s official swimming association.
In a letter signed by Jimenez, Coseteng and PSL President Susan Papa, the PSL presented its record both in staging local tournaments and impressive campaign in international competitions.
“This is to respectfully seek recognition of the Philippine Swimming League as official Swimming Association based on our long standing and consistent efforts toward the grassroots developmental program of swimming in the Philippines,” stated in the letter addressed to PSC Chairman William Ramirez.
Last year, the PSL joined eight international competitions, was able to send 198 swimmers that won 575 medals, broke 66 records, grabbed 33 Most Outstanding Swimmer awards and got five team championship trophies.
PSL standout and Philippine national junior record holder Jerard Dominic Jacinto could have won three gold medals in the Southeast Asian Age-Group Swimming Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand in December should Philippine Swimming Incorporated (PSI) included him in the lineup, according to the letter.
The PSI won just a lone gold courtesy Bhay Newberry – a former PSL swimmer, according to Papa.
“We are able to haul in dozens of medals in every international competitions. The records of now outstanding Olympians during their younger years have been broken by our grassroots swimmers, earning for themselves the Most Outstanding Swimmer awards of the prestigious competitions previously dominated by swimmers now in the Olympics,” the letter added.
The PSL wants to sit down with Ramirez as the Philippines prepares for some major international tournaments including the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the 29th Summer World University Games in New Taipei City, Taiwan both will be held in August as well as the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
“We strongly believe that failure in the international arena of swimming is not due to lack of funding support from the Philippine government but due to misuse of government-provided funds, the absence of a grassroots development program as well as the absence of a policy to promote sports-for-all,” the letter stated.
For his part, Jimenez said, “we urge PSC for inclusion sports development in accordance with the Policy of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”
“PSL truly deserves PSC recognition! I’ll go one step further and say PSL should have been designated as NSA for swimming long ago. No other swimming association in Philippine history has come close to achievement of PSL,” Coseteng added.
“Many young swimmers, coaches, swimming teams and parents have become victims of crimes such as bullying, abuses (verbal and physical) and corruption in swimming sports. The PSL is under its advocacy program, provides seminars to educate the swimming community about their basic constitutional rights particularly under the “open-on-all” sports policy so that every Filipino swimmer/athlete will have an equal opportunity to hone their talent and ability,” Papa ended.