The strong eight-member Philippine Swimming League (PSL) squad will be leaving for Hong Kong today to compete in the 2015 Hong Kong Stingrays Swimming Championships scheduled on May 29 to 31 at the Hong Kong International School swimming pool.
Swimmers of the Year Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas and Kyla Soguilon of Sun Yat Sen-Kalibo will spearhead the country’s campaign in the three-day event. Zamora takes part in the boys’ 14 years while Soguilon participates in the girls’ 10 years.
“We want to expose them as early as now to see them grow and bring their standards to the next level. This is the next stage of our grassroots development program,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
Indian Ocean All Stars Challenge gold medalists Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh (girls’ 8 years) and Stephen Guzman (boys’ 10 years) are also in the team along with Palarong Pambansa standout Charize Juliana Esmero of University of the Philippines Integrated School (girls’ 12 years), Royal Bangkok Swim Meet veteran Roger Giron (boys’ 15 years), and Singapore Swimming Championships medalists Marie Joe Borres (girls’ 10 years) and Alic Deniel Dela Cruz (girls’ 15 years).
Joining the delegation is PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa.
“We continue sending them abroad to further hone their skills. They need this kind of exposure to know if they’re improving or not. We’re not just aiming to become the best in Southeast Asia but we want to be the best in Asia and, hopefully, the best in the world,” stressed Papa.
Before leaving for Hong Kong, Zamora and Soguilon both received swimming supplies worth P25,000 from Finis Philippines headed by Vince Garcia as part of their ambassadorship.
“We are grateful with the support given by the Finis Philippines to our swimmers. It’s a good reward for these hardworking kids, who also serve as good example to their fellow swimmers,” Papa said.
The team aims to surpass its eight-gold, five-silver, three-bronze medal haul in the 2014 edition with Zamora looking to defend his crown in the 200m Individual Medley, 200m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 200m butterfly and 200m breaststroke.
The Hong Kong tournament is the third international competition of the PSL. In March, the team bagged 14 golds in the 2015 Phuket Swimming Championship in Thailand then won 41 golds, 12 silvers and nine bronzes in the 2015 Indian Ocean All Stars Challenge in Perth, Australia in April.
The PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap)—an internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).