Soon to rise: World-class training complex
The dream of the government to establish its own training center for the national athletes is fast taking shape.
The Senate recently approved on second reading a bill designed to create a sports complex, in a yet to be determined location, that will serve as the primary venue for the development of athletes in the national pool from a variety of sports.
Once Senate Bill No. 1716 has been ratified by the bicameral body and signed by President Duterte into law, the Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center Act will also give rise to several facilities and amenities for the athletes, including sports science and research.
Sen. Sonny Angara is the main proponent of the bill with Senators Bam Aquino, Joel Villanueva and Manny Pacquiao as co-authors.
“I would like to thank our lawmakers who believe in the importance of putting up a new training center to serve our national athletes,” said Philippine Sports Commission Chair Butch Ramirez.
“It will also strengthen our grassroots program to scientifically identify and develop more athletes for the national team in the future,” added Ramirez.
The budget earmarked for the project is P3 billion, but Angara will push to increase funding to P3.5 billion, according to Ramirez.
Aside from catering to the welfare of the athletes, the sports center—with modern equipment and facilities at par with international standards—will likewise accommodate the training and development of coaches and referees.
With ownership vested on the PSC, the government sports agency will manage, operate and maintain the sports complex, which should also be designed to host local and international competitions, if necessary.
Ramirez said the athletes would be developed through the use of scientific principles and programs and proven training techniques under the guidance of the Philippine Sports Institute headed by national training director Marc Edward Velasco.
The sports facilities that will be constructed on the complex are track and field oval, baseball field, football field, velodrome, gymnastics center, multipurpose gym and field, athletes and coaches dormitories, sports science building, tennis courts and villas for guests, among others.