Big guns from different parts of the country will be converging in the 53rd Philippine Swimming League (PSL) Series scheduled on February 22 to 23 at the Villareal Stadium in Roxas City, Capiz.
Southeast Asian Age-Group Championship veteran Chrizel Lagunday is expected to show up after being invited by the PSL along with Cape Town Swimming Gala gold medallist Kyla Soguilon of Aklan and Royal Bangkok Meet Most Outstanding Swimmer Marc Dula of National Capital Region.
The tournament hosted by Capiz Turbo Sharks headed by its president, Pepe Borres and sponsored by Gov. Victor Tanco, will serve a tryout for the 2015 Summer World Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea.
“PSL is opening the window for Western Visayas region. What I have done in NCR, PSL must also do in other regions. I hope they will respond to this grassroosts development program. This may be costly for us, but it’s worth it because a lot of swimmers in this region will benefit the program,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
“We will select swimmers that is worth giving exposure to international competition and I hope they will respond to it,” Papa added.
Lagunday was a gold medallist in the 2004 SEA Age-Group in Brunei Darussalam. She clocked 35 second in topping the girls’ backstroke event when she was 14.
“I think she will be a lot stronger now at the age of 24. I will be glad to see her,” said Papa.
Soguilon, on the other hand, bagged one gold and two silver medals in the recently concluded 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala in South Africa.
Papa said the two-day event is open to all swimmers.
“I am trying to democratize swimming in the country and remove the exclusive membership. Sports should be open to all. In joining this competition they don’t have to pay membership fees for the swimmers, coaches and team to compete,” stressed Papa.
“What are they afraid of? To be suspended? These are young age group swimmers. As I have said, the UAAP and NCAA swimmers did not make it to the Olympics and Myanmar, how much more on this age groupers?
“They must open their eyes. They must not allow themselves to be bullied. The coaches and parents must wake up for the good of many swimmers that are misplaced,” Papa ended.
The PSL team is coming off a 35-medal haul in 2014 Western Province Aquatics Swimming Gala.