Pacquiao: Focus on sports where Filipinos can excel, win
MANILA, Philippines – Following the breakthrough world championship triumphs of gymnast Carlos Yulo and female boxer Nesthy Petecio, Senator Manny Pacquiao urged the country’s sports policymakers to focus on sports disciplines where Filipinos can excel and win.
In a statement on Tuesday, Pacquiao said it is about time that Philippine sports policymakers support and develop events where Filipinos can most likely excel “instead wasting funds on sports that gives immediate advantage for big and tall athletes like basketball.”
‘Pinoys loves basketball, but…’
“Just like many Filipinos, I love basketball and there is nothing wrong with it. But as far as the government’s sports development policy is concerned, we should refocus our resources and energy on other sports because there is no way that we could beat bigger and faster players in world basketball,” Pacquiao said.
“We should pour more support on weight-classed sports and other sports that does not give undue advantage to bigger and taller athletes,” he added.
A premium on weight class, agility, endurance
He said Filipinos could excel in almost all weight-classed sports such as boxing, taekwondo, judo, wrestling and weight lifting as well as in other sports that require intelligence, balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and endurance like gymnastics, marathon, synchronized swimming, diving, cycling, shooting, archery chess and other similar sports.
Pacquiao said the smashing victories of Yulo and Petecio, compared to the performance of the country in the 2019 FIBA (basketball) World Cup, should give the country’s sports policymakers and top sports philanthropists and promoters “the right perspective on which sports should be developed and given the best possible support.”
Pacquiao added that the Philippines had “continuously tried but failed” to clinch a gold medal during Olympic games due to the fact the country’s sports decision-makers and policymakers “give too much attention to sports where there’s practically no chance for victory.”
No to ‘excursionists’
Pacquiao, likewise, urged sports officials to stop sending “excursionists” to international sporting events and field only athletes with potentials of winning a medal.
He said that “instead of wasting taxpayers’ money to cover the expenses of ill-prepared athletes and their entourage during international sporting competitions such as the Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games,” the government should fund the modernization of sports facilities in every city and municipality across the country.
He claimed that sports organizations have been sending a large delegation of athletes and support staff to international sporting competitions, many of whom, he said, “end up acting like tourists and excursionists.” /gsg
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