‘Siklab Atleta’ looks to help make Olympic gold dream a reality
After the recent Philippine Olympic Committee elections, private support for Filipino athletes hoping to make it big in the Olympics has started to come in.
Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation, Inc. became the first organization outside of the government to formalize its backing on Saturday for the country’s ultimate objective of capturing a first Olympic gold medal.
“Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation will fuel the Philippine’s best athletes to make the country’s dream of bagging an Olympic gold a reality,’’ said Phoenix Petroleum president and CEO Dennis Uy, the brains behind the foundation.
During its launching at the Century Park Hotel in Manila, Uy led the unveiling of the 29 elite athletes who will receive all-out financial support from the foundation.
“We need to provide our athletes the support befitting their stature as our country’s representatives to the world,’’ said Uy, also President Rodrigo Duterte’s Presidential Adviser for Sports.
Heading the list of the athletes expected to qualify to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are Rio Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, windsurfing champion Geylord Coveta, triathlete Kim Mangrobang, tracksters Eric Cray and Trenton Beram, taekwondo jins Elaine Alora and Pauline Lopez.
Cycling’s Marella Salamat, Sienna Fines and Ariana Dormitrio were also included in the cast along with archer Nicole Tagle, judokas Kiyomi Watanabe, Mariya Takahashi, Shugen Nakano and Kesei Nakano, boxers Eumir Marcial and John Tupas, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Kaitlin De Guzman.
Completing the lineup are canoe-kayak’s Hermie Macaranas and OJ Fuentes, swimmers James Dieparine and Nicole Oliva, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, karateka OJ Delos Santos, surfers Philmar Alipayo and Edito Alcala, weightlifter Kristel Macrohon and windsurfer Yancy Kaibigan.
Uy has called on fellow businessmen to help support these athletes in their quest for the gold. Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation executive director Raymond Zorilla said the resources would be pooled through the foundation to provide athletes with training equipment and facilities, coaches services, exposure to international competitions, education, housing and livelihood programs.
Also present during the affair were Foreign secretary and Philippine Southeast Asian Games organizing committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano, POC president Ricky Vargas, Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez and PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez.
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