The 16-member Philippine Swimming League (PSL) delegation has already left for Tokyo on Wednesday as it vies for medals in the prestigious 2015 Japan Swimming Championship beginning on November 14.
Leading the delegation are PSL President Susan Papa and Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa together with National Capital Region (NCR) Regional Director Joan Mojdeh, and coaches Joey Andaya and Sonia Baltazar.
“I see the happiness on the eyes of the kids. As they work hard, they also enjoy the culture and tourist attractions and spots. We don’t deprive them this kind of experience every time they travel. It’s our way of rewarding them,” stressed Papa.
Swimmers of the Year Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas and Kyla Soguilon of Kalibo Sun Yat Sen School are expected to deliver along with veteran international campaigners Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Parañaque, and University of the Philippines standouts Drew Magbag, Lans Rawlin Donato and Juliana Charize Esmero.
“It’s way colder here than in Manila but we’re hoping that the weather condition won’t affect the performance of our swimmers. Some of them went through acclimatization in Baguio last week,” said Papa.
Also vying for medals are Diliman Preparatory School’s Paul Christian King and Paula Carmela Cusing, Rio Lorenzo Malapitan, Heather White, Ruben White, Kobe Soguilon, Edmundo Jose Tolentino, Juana Amor Cervas, Lucio Cuyong 2nd and Angela Claire Torrico.
“Malalakas ang mga kasali sa tournament na ito kaya talagang mapapalaban ang mga bata. Magandang exposure ito sa kanila dahil talagang world-class swimmers ang mga makasasabay nila dito,” added Papa.
“Hindi basta basta susuko ang mga batang ito. Palaban talaga ‘yan kahit mas matatangkad sa kanila ang kalaban, hindi inaatrasan. Naalala ko ‘nung nasa South Africa at Australia kami, matatangkad ang mga kalaban nila pero kaya nilang makipagsabayan,” she said.
Papa wants to sustain the association’s impressive showing in international competitions including in the 2015 Indian Ocean All-Star Challenge in Perth, Australia in April.
Besides the Perth meet, PSL also won gold medals in the Phuket Invitational Swimming Championship in Thailand, Hong Kong Stingrays Invitational Swimming Championship, Singapore Invitational Swimming Championship and the Singapore Midget Meet.
PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap), internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).