As mentioned in my previous column, the public is misinformed on what it takes to qualify for the national swimming team.
In fact, many swimmers have quit before thinking that they cannot meet the standards set by the Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSi), which were Mark Joseph’s own interpretation of the FINA Rules.
While Joseph, who is facing criminal charges is currently out of the country, PSi Secretary General Lani Velasco is committing the same error as her predecessor.
Velasco is implementing the following memorandum by Joseph:
“Please be informed that PSi will be the one who will send out info kits for sanctioned and approved meets.
If you receive invitations from foreign federations, do request for a permit from PSi based on FINA G# No. 3.2 in order to compete and so that PSi will recognize the results of the competitions and you will not be sanctioned for violation this FINA Rule on unauthorized relations.
If you receive from LGUs or other clubs or wish to compete in interschool meets, you are hereby warned that you should make sure that said meet is approved or sanctioned by PSi. Competing in unapproved and unsanctioned meets of PSi would be a violation of the FINA Rule on unauthorized relations, hence, you and/or your club/team will be sanctions by PSi and FINA.
For those PSi registered clubs hosting open meets or wishing to host meets, please be reminded and forewarned to seek approval or sanction from PSi. Failure to do so or using officials who are not recognized or registered by/with PSi or officials who do not respect PSi, in said meets will be sanctioned.
For your information and guidance. This serves as a warning to violators.
Mark P. Joseph
Philippine Swimming Inc.”
Former senator and Philippine Swimming League (PSL) chairman Anna Dominique Coseteng warned that the aforementioned memorandum is against the law.
PSi membership must not serve as a guarantee that a swimmer will become a member of the national team.
One parent said, “My boy is being recruited by a PSi coach to join the PSi. He said that if my son wants to make it to the national team, the only way is to be a member of the PSi. However, my son is only 10 years old. Having an experience in sports, I know that their only purpose is to increase the PSi membership because it is too early for my son to consider joining the national team.”
One of the goals of the PSi is to make sure no PSL member made it to the national team.
But they failed this year.
PSL swimmers, Jerard Dominic Jacinto and Drew Benett Magbag became members of the Philippine delegation to the Asean School Games. The basis of their selection was their performances in the Palarong Pambansa.
Both swimmers broke Palaro records en route to winning the gold medal in their events.
Based on Joseph’s interpretation of the FINA Rules, the two PSL swimmers were not qualified but the Department of Education opted to use the moral rule upholding the “Sports-for-All” principle that shuns discrimination.