MANILA -- If the over 140 college and university athletic associations attending the National Consultative Meeting for Collegiate Sports on October 17 and 18 at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City decide to form a united athletic association, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez confirmed the agency will support them.
“If they decide to form an organization, we will support them,” Ramirez said in a press conference here Monday.
“We will be happy to have a unified organization on collegiate sports. That is a vital part of grassroots development,” he added.
The consultative meeting would serve as a follow-up on a previous consultation meeting held last year. The PSC chief has consistently declared grassroots sports as the focus of the sports agency.
“If we strengthen grassroots sports, we strengthen the prospects of elite sports,” he said.
He cited the sports development pyramid being followed by the agency. Grassroots sports at the very base, going up the ladder with school sports, the Palarong Pambansa, the Philippine National Games, with elite sports at the top.
“If we have a clear and unified athletic association at the collegiate level, running a clear and unified program, our children have somewhere to go after the PNG level. That would be a good step forward,” Ramirez said.
The PSC is set to explore more partnerships with the Department of Education, the Commission on higher Education and the Department of Interior and Local Government in line with its different programs.
Ramirez explained that they intend to reach out more, underscoring that the agency shall remain inclusive in their efforts to engage as many sectors of society as possible.
He added that they have started talking with different provinces to develop sports where the respective area is strongest.
“Tagaytay has cycling, boxing is strong in Cebu, Baguio and Mindanao, archery in Dumaguete and Zamboanga in weightlifting. We want to support them where they have a nature inclination,” he said.
“While we continue with our long term plans to put in place a genuine grassroots program in the country, we will take this move as a ‘special ops’ effort to hasten results,” Ramirez added. (PR)