Home-study program for POC-picked elite athletesBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee will set up a home-study program for developmental athletes who will be tapped for the elite program of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
The local Olympic body will handpick 100 to 200 athletes from different sports and train them at Philsports in Pasig starting January in preparation for four major tournaments.
Most of the elite athletes will come from the Batang Pinoy Games, a multi-sports nationwide meet for athletes 15 years old and below.
Cojuangco said the POC will strike an agreement with the Department of Education to keep these young athletes in school.
“The parents of the athletes need not worry. We will not allow them to miss their education during training,” said Cojuangco.
He said athletes with failing grades would be removed from the program.
“The objective is to see them excel in their disciplines and in their studies as well,” said Cojuangco.
The four major events are the 2013 Asian Youth Games (Nanjing, China), 2013 SEA Games (Naypidaw, Myanmar), 2014 Youth Olympics (Singapore) and 2014 Asian Games (Incheon, South Korea).
Cojuangco said the POC’s roster is a combination of special and developmental athletes entirely separate from the priority athletes of the Philippine Sports Commission.
The PSC had earlier tapped 145 priority athletes, all of them medalists in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, to train exclusively and prepare for next year’s biennial meet.
“The first group of athletes will come from the Batang Pinoy. We will then ask athletes from different sports in the national pool to give full-time commitment to this endeavor,” said Cojuangco.
Cojuangco added a United States-based company with vast knowledge in sports science—specifically conditioning and nutrition—has been tapped by the POC and should begin handling the pool on the third week of January next year.