Sports leaders and lawmakers threw their support to the creation of a unified collegiate sports program during the National Consultative Meeting on Collegiate Sports on Tuesday at the multi-purpose Arena at PhilSports Complex in Pasig City.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Representative Mark Zambar said the Congress is willing to help the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the various athletic associations in forming a unified sports program and the creation of one athletic association for university sports.
“We have to see a firm plan. Let us all work together and find direction. We at the Congress are willing to help,” said Zambar, who is also a member of the Youth and Sports Development Committee.
Zambar added that if the plans push through, it would have an impact on the country’s quest for medals in elite level competitions such as the Asian Games and the Olympics.
PSC chairman William Ramirez admitted that in the 27 years of PSC’s existence, it failed to implement this mandate and they are now committed to fill in the gap.
“We came here to build bridges. Yes, there are sad stories but we have to learn from those stories,” said Ramirez, who has been actively campaigning for more partnerships with the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education.
“Remember that the President (Rodrigo Duterte) has instructed us to make sports accessible to all, to involve the youth more because he believe sports is vital in molding a well-rounded citizen. We have to start somewhere, and we have to start now,” he added.
Congressman Conrado Estrella, Chairperson of the Youth and Sports Committee and representatives from close to 70 universities, colleges and athletic groups all over the country attended the first day of the two-day meeting.
The consultative meeting will conclude on Wednesday at the same venue.