Again, a pained cry for changeBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
HERMIE Rivera, producer of two Filipino world boxing champions, is in a revolting mood.
He has been clamoring for change, instant and meaningful change, in the national amateur boxing backyard.
“How come nothing is said from your end about Abap’s retiring for keeps the dregs plaguing the boxing program, as institutionalized by its current crop of incompetent officials?”
By Abap, Rivera means the new set of amateur boxing leaders who had their first taste of Olympic competition in London.
It’s quite obvious this new Abap failed to meet Rivera’s standards.
“The mission would be more relevant and productive if we could have those truly qualified (everybody’s wish) run the program,” he advised.
“We need honest and competent people, in the league of the late Gene Puyat, those who are willing to serve and sacrifice for the sake of the sport, and not just to junket and perpetuate themselves in office.”
Rivera decried the faulty talent discovery program and referred this reporter to a masterful advisory written by the respected chronicler Edwin Espejo.
Of course, it had been explained to Rivera how this reporter has, through the years, been harking on the right approach to Olympic training and participation, like embracing the proper philosophy and outlook, not to mention opting for perfect physique and measurement, and not just looking for readily available talents before blindly preparing them for the Olympic assault.
The Olympics, after all, is not just another glory bid, it’s a stab at perfection and nobility, both of the body and the human spirit.
Anyway, for starters, chronicler Espejo said there should be honest efforts to prevent international sporting campaigns from slipping repeatedly into another diagnosis:
“We cannot even top the lowly Southeast Asian Games. Boxing badly needs a face-lift if the country hopes to again barge into the Olympic medal board.”
He added: “Boxing needs more than just PLDT and MVP. Sports officials heading Abap need to think beyond what they are doing right now. Abap needs to lay down a comprehensive program for amateur boxing. We need to plot our program and measure our success, if we are growing or retrogressing in every qualifying tournament.”
He said the Philippines cannot just look for talents, like those from the ALA Stable in Cebu, where many prospects are recruited for the training pool.
“They should have at least 20 aspirants per weight division who could be scouted in regular local tournaments. They should be trained young with emphasis on height.
Abap should see to it that our boxers are not more than two inches shorter than the average height of opposition in their bracket. This way they could be more competent and honestly competitive. We cannot hope to send midgets and hope to succeed. Skills alone will not help us win the gold. We also need well-fed, well-educated, well-inspired athletes.
Not only that.
“Maybe it’s time to inject new faces in the Abap leadership, many of those heading the regional chapters (of Abap) have been there for more than 20 years. Time for them to give way to young, dynamic and bold leaders who will not be beholden to the exigency and expediency of politics.”
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