THE recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics has left much to sustain and build on the success we gained. Apart from the financial support we have been advocating for from the private and government sectors, we can also focus on grassroots development.
The National Academy of Sports of the Philippines (NAS) might be the answer.
NAS was established under RA 11460 to identify and promote academically talented and athletically talented natural-born Filipino youth from all sectors of society.
With DepEd and PSC working closely for the operations of the NAS, all aspiring athletes now have a chance to quality education. And high-level skills training and development, which will prepare them for the life of an athlete and beyond.
Last August 14, they concluded the search for potential scholars as their first batch of enrollees.
In our efforts to strengthen our grassroots programs, we have to deal with un-popular questions in our pursuit for excellence.
Here are some lingering questions that may need answers with the establishment of the NAS:
1. Where will the student-athletes compete during the localized meets leading to the Palarong Pambansa? Will they play for their city, region, or the NAS?
2. Who will be teaching these student-athletes?
While they may seem like simple questions, they have to address them the soonest time possible.
Running an academic institution has its challenges, including these questions. If we aim for grassroots development, these scholars may need to go back to their city and region to participate in the local qualifiers. They will help set the standards for local sports meets with their training.
While it may appear a disadvantage for the non-NAS student-athletes, it is a chance for the coaches to level up their knowledge and skillsets courtesy of the PSC and NSA’s.
Perhaps it can also pave the way for standardization of coaching practices in training and handling student-athletes. We may have a handful of them already on board in terms of qualified faculty and staff, but we may need more.
Ched might look into SUCs and private universities that can offer degree programs for this purpose. It ensures that enough competent and available faculty and staff will be able to keep the NAS operational.
With great hope for the NAS, this writer is also hopeful the NAS leadership and stakeholders have already considered the minute details such as the questions posed above.
In implementing programs, I am a firm believer in “leaving no stones unturned,” including the uncomfortable.