PSA honors athletes; Mikee Romero calls for reformsBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
On a night the country’s sporting heroes were honored, port magnate and sportsman Mikee Romero called for the creation of a government department to cure the current problems besetting the country’s sporting program.
Romero, team owner of Globalport in the PBA, was the guest of honor last night during the PSA Annual Awards at Manila Hotel, and used his speech to outline a blueprint designed to make the country relevant in international sporting circles again.
“So what ails Philippine sports?” Romero asked during his keynote speech. “What is the cure? Why do our sports programs produce only one Olympic medal every 10 years?
“Is it lack of funding, lack of infrastructure, lack of training, lack of recruitment, lack of grassroots development?
“The answer is yes,” Romero said.
World champion Josie Gabuco of boxing, Big League Softball World Series winner Team Manila and five-time UAAP men’s basketball title holder Ateneo Blue Eagles were honored last night as co-winners of the Athlete of the Year award by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA).
Nonito Donaire was supposed to join the elite assembly of top performers last year at the packed stage of Manila Hotel’s Centennial Hall but couldn’t make it because the reigning super bantamweight king is in San Carlos, California, preparing for his next fight against a Cuban foe on April 13 in New York.
The 41-year-old Romero summed up his solution as the Department of Sports, a government body that will “build the blocks of modern and results oriented sports programs.”
“I therefore propose the creation of the Department of Sports or DOS as the permanent solution to the funding and infrastructure problems of the country’s sports programs,” Romero said.