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The Philippine Sports Commission yesterday told the Philippine Swimming Inc. to make room for new members in case swimmers from the Philippine Swimming League make waves in a meet the PSC will supervise with the help of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Putting premium on the welfare of the athletes, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez informed PSI secretary-general Lanie Velasco that an event could be held to allow non-affiliated PSI swimmers to finally join the national team.
Since it is the PSI that is recognized by the POC, it gets funding from the PSC, while the PSL, headed by Susan Papa, has been relegated to participate in non-IOC sanctioned events.
Because only PSI swimmers get to represent the country in the major meets like the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and the Olympics, those from the PSL don’t get that luxury.
“It’s one way to unite and we will agree to that,” said Velasco.
Ramirez noted that should PSI and PSL swimmers get to compete against each other, the PSI should accept new members and the PSL must allow their swimmers to cross to the other side.
“We’ll see who is better,” said Ramirez. “We expect the winners to join the national pool. But if the other group (PSL) doesn’t approve that, they’ll continue to be separated because our efforts are only limited. We are for the sake of the children.”