AFTER forging an active linkage with the Korean Institute of Sports Science (Kiss), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) marked another milestone as it signed a Protocol for Cooperation with the United States Sports Academy (Ussa) at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on Wednesday, October 25.
PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez said the partnership will help the national sports agency achieve its goal to strengthen programs in elite and grassroots sports through continuing education of coaches and administrators.
"When we came to the PSC we launched the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) with the hope of establishing and strengthening elite sports and grassroots sports programs. This partnership with Ussa is hoped to achieve that," Ramirez said.
Ussa president and chief executive officer Dr. Thomas J. Rosandich, for his part, said, "It's both a pleasure and honor for me to execute this Protocol for Cooperation, noting that the Academy is not new to the Philippines. We taught here many years ago. In fact, I taught a course myself on sports facilities in the early 1980s. We've been away too long and we are looking forward to picking up where we had left of."
Rosandich, in a press conference after the ceremonial signing of the partnership, added: "First and foremost, Ussa's mission statement is to serve as resource for development of sports for the United States and the world. This is part of our mission."
He also said that Ussa has taught programs to over 65 countries in the world.
The Ussa founding president, according to him, had lived and worked in the Philippines doing coaching programs before the Academy was founded in 1972.
"We have been invited by the commission to look at ways we can assist the Philippine nation and most importantly the athletes, so it's natural for us to be here. We are truly pleased with this development," Rosandich added.
Ramirez went on to thanked his consultant Dr. Perry Mequi and Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) national deputy training director Henry Daut for making the partnership with Ussa possible.
He remains optimistic that when the term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte ends, "We can answer his mantra in making sports accessible to the periphery."
Daut earlier said that the linkage with Ussa will benefit the Philippines as it will open opportunities for Filipino coaches, athletes, administrators and leaders to avail of world-class education, research and services.
The Protocol for Cooperation states that the Ussa shall work with government entities and organizations designated by PSC to contribute to the development of national sports effort; utilize its expertise to review and submit recommendations with respect to the education and training employed by the PSC and its affiliates such as the PSI in the conduct of national sport initiatives; and will provide the education and training programs to individuals and groups that the PSC will identify in consultation with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Philippine Olympic Committee, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and national sports associations.
The USSA will also assess and submit recommendations to sports program support; work with designated PSC or government entity to develop programs of sports related to cultural exchanges; and will assist PSC in the implementation of strategies of cooperation.
Ramirez and Rosandich were keynote speakers during the opener of the 2017 International Conference on Physical Education, Recreation, Fitness and Sports Science on Thursday, October 26, at The Royal Mandaya Hotel.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 27, 2017.
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