Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Treat every year as an Olympic year with regards to the training of the country’s finest athletes.
This was the suggestion made by Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez before his scheduled departure for Beijing where 15 of the best Filipino athletes will vie in the 29th Summer Olympics.
These athletes underwent training in countries that excel in their respective sports of boxing, taekwondo, athletics, shooting, archery, swimming, diving and weightlifting.
Over 50 Pinoy athletes from 15 sports have been placed under a special program aimed at winning the elusive gold medal. But only 15 of them made it to Beijing.
“This is the most expensive Olympic preparation in Philippine history,” said Ramirez, adding that the PSC, the government’s funding arm in sports, spent no less than P30 million for this.
Ramirez, however, is hoping that this practice would continue.
“I hope that the Olympic training program continues, including the allotment of the budget. We saw it in the athletes how a good overseas training could help,” said the PSC chief.
Ramirez is scheduled to leave for Beijing tomorrow, along with the bigwigs, including Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco and flag-bearer Manny Pacquiao.
President Arroyo is scheduled to leave with them, being the first Chief Executive to join the athletes in an Olympic opener.
“If our athletes have the adequate foreign training and exposure then we have bigger chances of winning medals. So I hope the P30 million budget is made available every year,” Ramirez said.
“This way, we don’t have to prepare our athletes in the year before or the months leading to the Olympics,” he added.
Ramirez said the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) can set the money aside every year.
Blog Credits: Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star