By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has bared plans for a consolidated national sports calendar to have a more comprehensive grassroots sports programs in its desire to produce world-class athletes.
This came after the PSC board led by Chairman Richard Bachmann went to different national teams, sports associations and training venues and meeting with stakeholders over the past weeks.
“We have to continue to cultivate the grassroots in order to feed the elite level with fresh talents,” said Bachmann.
“We do not have a lot of resources so a consolidated calendar would help us all avoid duplications, overlaps and allow us to prepare better.”
This week, Bachmann and Commissioners Edward Hayco, Bong Coo and Walter Torres visited Cebu and sat down with the Cebu City Sports Commission, Cebu City Local School Board in Labangon Elementary School, and Cebu City Sports Center to observe different local sports.
The PSC officials also took part in the launching of the Guinness world attempt for the largest rhythmic gymnastics hula-hoop workout and graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the PSC Regional Training Center for weightlifting attended by Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando.
Ando is actually a product of the Batang Pinoy (Philippine Youth Games), one of the PSC’s long-time centerpiece grassroots programs.
The PSC is also set to establish satellite offices all over the country to make sure the national sports agency has point persons to oversee the grassroots program in their respective areas.
“This is a good way to have more Elreen Andos, and Hidilyn Diazes in Philippine sports. I hope we can develop more homegrown talent and strengthen our national team, and to nourish our chances of winning more Olympic gold medals in the future,” Bachmann said.
Aside from checking on the sports facilities and training centers, the PSC board also paid a courtesy visit to the Office of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Undersecretary Terence Calatrava in Mandaue City, Cebu, where the latter pledged his support to the PSC on future collaborations in grassroots sports development in the region.
The PSC Board will wrap up the week in Zamboanga where a number of Philippine team members come from.