Monday, September 27, 2021

Samante: Sports and elections

Game On

SEVENTEEN days before voter registration ends and we will be gearing up for the upcoming 2022 elections. We will once again be bombarded by election propaganda from the different aspiring candidates.

As sports leaders and personalities, we care about programs and initiatives that our elected officials can carry out in the realm of sports. Politics aside, we have seen how support for sports has grown, leading to a very successful turnout for the competitions we have engaged in for the last couple of years.

Here are three programs and initiatives this writers wish to see and accomplished for the next administration:

1. Continuity of programs -- We know that the incoming admin sets new administrations and a new set of officials. Current serving leaders are co-terminus with the incumbent admin. It seems to be counterproductive, with sports leaders changing every six years. We want to see a continuity of the successful program initiated, non-delivering programs reviewed and, if needed, terminated, and new initiatives to respond to the limitation of the pandemic established. Even with the change in administration. Enough with the grandstanding or one-upping of the previous leaders.

2. Focus on grassroots sports development -- For the longest time, grassroots sports development has been the motto for establishing sports programs. National and local governments need to craft a genuine grassroots sports development program that will cater to the natural abilities of the children in the community without undermining their cultures and traditions. With training and support, young Badjaos can become world-class athletes in swimming and diving. The end goal for this is to graduate these children to the National Sports Academy.

3. Encourage people to support athletes -- I wrote about this a couple of weeks back, reiterating this call now. We can extend our support in our little ways for our athletes. Our taxes are already used for this. But a national campaign apart from the taxes would be wonderful to show our unity as a nation.

Sports has been our great unifier. Of course, with a national movement for supporting our athletes, we must safeguard it from corruption abuses.

These are three things I wish to see implemented by our next set of leaders. Not merely uttered as an election campaign propaganda but done and supported once elected in office. I understand that there is still a lot we want to be done. We can gather all our thoughts for sports and express them to these candidates. Sports development should have a place in the nation’s development more so as we recover from the effects of this pandemic.

Register to vote, and hopefully, candidates hear our call for inclusion in their plans.


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