TACLOBAN CITY: The Leyte Sports Academy (LSA) is calling on sports enthusiasts in Eastern Visayas to do a try-out in their facility and be sports scholars in the country’s first ever sports academy.
Priority are youth from poor families, but have the potential to become world-class athletes. LSA offers sports scholarship for youth aged eight to 14 years old.
Currently, LSA has 120 sports scholars this year, up by 30 participants last year. The academy started with 37 athletes when it opened in 2010.
Some of LSA’s sports scholars have already graduated and admitted for full scholarship by top universities in Metro Manila. Some of them opted to study in their home province.
Among them is Karen Janario from Palo, Leyte who availed full scholarship at the University of Sto. Tomas. She was awarded as the Most Valuable Player and also hailed as Rookie of the Year in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 Track and Field tournament.
“We are now open to all athletes in the region because since last year, we have started bringing or using Eastern Visayas in our name and not only representing Leyte province,” said Ruben Tamayo, LSA administrator.
“Athletes from elementary to high school may come here to try-out and if they pass, they will be part of LSA and we will train them to become better athletes,” he added.
Once admitted, athletes will have to enroll in schools in their hometown. They will stay at the LSA facility in Leyte Sports Development Center where mentors from the Department of Education will teach them until they finish elementary and high school.
During provincial and regional sports meets, LSA athletes don’t represent the academy, but the school and province where they came from.
LSA offers scholarship for athletics, swimming, powerlifting, boxing, wrestling, taekwondo and wushu.
“These sports are medal rich that is why we are concentrating on them, rather on group sports that we would only get one medal,” said Tamayo.
The LSA administrator said that they will also offer gymnastics and archery after the Palarong Pambansa next year.