THREE senators are pushing for the establishment of Philippine High School for Sports inside the New Clark City.
With this, the smart city, situated in Capas, Tarlac, will soon become the home of future champion athletes.
New Clark City, a project of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), is the site of world-class sports facilities built for the country's hosting of the 30th South East Asian (SEA) Games this year.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said the Philippine High School for Sports will "unleash the potential of young Filipinos who have shown early potential of excelling in sports for a sports-related career."
During her co-sponsorship speech, Senator Pia Cayetano showed photos of the New Clark City sports facilities, which include an Athletics Stadium, Aquatics Center, and an Athletes' Village.
"New Clark City is a sustainable city that will house our athletes for the SEA Games. And this is also where this sports school will be built. It is envisioned that the students will have access to vocational, sports, and academic tracks so that each of them can still fulfill their own dreams," Cayetano said.
Cayetano, a triathlete and former national athlete, has run laps inside the Athletics Stadium and has also tested the Aquatics Center competition pool.
The Athletics Stadium is a 20,000-seater world-class Olympics stadium with a nine-lane 400-meter track and field oval, and a six-lane warm up track.
The Aquatics Center is a 2,000-seater world-class arena built with a 10-lane Olympic-size swimming pool, a diving pool with inland diving training facility, and a warm-up training pool.
The Athletes' Village, on the other hand, is made of 525 furnished units that can accommodate up to 1,500 occupants. It is complete with training and fitness facilities.
Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, a co-sponsor and chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, said the Philippine High School for Sports will provide scholarship grants so that gifted young athletes will have access to quality education that puts equal emphasis on core subjects, and physical education and sports development.
"With the creation of the Philippine High School for Sports in very close proximity to world-class facilities, our student-athletes can enjoy a level of training which is at par with the best in the world," Go added.
"This type of training and education can catapult our student-athletes to illustrious careers in sports, whether as athletes, coaches, managers, or any other sports-related profession," he said.
BCDA president Vince Dizon said they support and share the senators' enthusiasm to pursue the establishment of a dedicated high school for sports.
According to him, BCDA will allot three hectares within New Clark City for the said purpose.
"BCDA strongly supports the proposal of our senators. This will greatly benefit the next generation of athletes and uplift the standards of Philippine sports," said Dizon.