The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) will be hosting its 53rd Leg Series in Roxas City, Capiz—one of the Yolanda-hit areas “that displaced many swimmers,” according to PSL President Susan Papa.
The two-day event unfurls today at the Villareal Stadium. The PSL organized the tournament together with Capiz Turbo Shark Swimming Club President Pepe Borres in cooperation with Governor Victor Tanco.
“It is imperative for PSL to host the swimming meet to make Capiz alive and motivated after typhoon Yolanda even it will be costly for PSL,” said Papa.
The PSL has prepared more than 500 medals for the outstanding swimmers in 12 categories – 6-under, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17-over. The Most Outstanding Swimmers in each class will be awarded with individual trophies while the Top Three teams will also get their respective championship trophies.
Papa said that the tournament is open to all swimmers. It will serve as a tryout to select swimmers who will represent the country in the 28th Summer World Universiade scheduled next year in Gwangju, South Korea as well as in major international competitions in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
“And also to democratize swimming to Region 6, a lot still did not understand that PSL is open to everyone and they don’t need to be a member that pays so much money just to join local and international competitions. The PSL will select swimmers for Hong Kong and Singapore meets. This will encourage swimmers to experience and expose them to International competition,” said Papa.
Capiz is known as the seafood capital of the Philippines and most of the province’s historical landmarks survived the recent calamities. Papa said that Capiz should also promote sports tourism. Capiz also owns the biggest catholic bell in Asia located at Panay Sta. Monica Church. It was built in 1774 during the time of Spaniard Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The bell that was made out of 70 sacks of silver and bronze coins can produce a sound that can be heard eight kilometers away. The former Philippine President Manuel Roxas also came from Capiz.
“I would love to make transformation and bring swimming into limelight again in Iloilo and evolve. There are so much potential swimmers and we are not to run out of it,” said Papa.