Hidilyn rues sad state of Rizal sports complex
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Olympic’s weightlifting Silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz is appealing here to national sports officials to do something to rehabilitate their training arena, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
“Let’s face it, I admit that we athletes are giving our all, but look at our Rizal sports complex, its been there since 1991 but ganun pa rin hanggang ngayon. We need changes, improvements,” Diaz during her brief stage appearance at the frontage of the Zamboanga City Hall for a heroes’ welcome on Monday afternoon.
Diaz pointed out that “surroundings of the sport complex ang dami ng nagsisitayo na mga condominiums, lahat nagbabago, pero ang Rizal Sports Complex, kahit rehabiliation wala.”
She quickly clarified that she is not questioning or blaming the government for this, “panawagan ko lang ito, I dont want to judge them, pero kailangan na talaga itong i address.”
Filipino athletes are now geared to Tokyo 2020 Diaz said and a good training area is one of their considerations.
She too is now preparing, “and I am on training now for Tokyo 2020. Hopefully, I will qualify and I need to compete for 6 competitions to qualify for Tokyo 2020.”
Diaz is in town along with fellow Zamboangueño athletes, Boxing bronze medalist Eumir Marcial and another Penkat Silat’s bronze medalist Jefferson Loon.
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar and the Zamboangueños gave a heroes’ welcome to the three athletes who made waves in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
Diaz received P300K financial incentives from the city government while Marcial and Loon received P100K each.
During the welcome’s program, Loon became emotional.
He narrated his experience where only a few appreciated his sport, “Penkat Silat is not popular here and I will do my best to make it popular, I am promoting this to inspire more youth to join this sport… sorry,” Loon said trying to hold his tears.
A confident Marcial said he is grateful to the Zamboanguenos for the all-out support including his family, his fraternity and the city government. He urged Zamboanguenos to love whatever sports they are in, “love your sports and this will lead you to the life you dreamed of and this sports will bring honor and name to our city and you too, will bring honor and fame to the city.”
The three athletes were overwhelmed with the warm reception of people mostly youth who endured the heat of the sun.
“We are overwhelmed with this heroes’ welcome, I am happy, I am back to my birthplace. I am a very proud Zamboangueno and I am thankful for the people of Zamboanga for the continuous support and prayers,” Diaz said.
She is elated to see more youth looking up at them as an inspiration.
“I want to show and share to them this sport, it inspires young people and someday, they will become sports hero too,” Diaz said but reminded the young generation that sports is not an easy thing, “it requires real hard work and discipline.”
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