Ramirez: PH lacks authentic grassroots program
The national federations of various combat sports recently raised a howl over a proposed law banning minors from competing in fighting disciplines, saying the move would hamper their grassroots programs.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chair William Ramirez wants a clarification: What grassroots program?
“Majority [of the national sports associations] doesn’t have a grassroots program,” Ramirez said. “You cannot call a grassroots program without any collaboration with government agencies and the local government units.’’
Ramirez has a different way of looking at House Bill No. 1526—an opportunity to strengthen the safety measures on athlete development, one of the primordial concerns in sports.
Ramirez explained that to have an authentic grassroots program, NSAs should partner with the PSC, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health and even the Armed Forces of the Philippines apart from the local government units.
“I think what they (NSAs) are talking about is the minimal development that they are having in some parts of the country,’’ Ramirez said.
“We don’t have a genuine grassroots program, because to fund a genuine program, we need manpower, expertise and billions of pesos and we don’t have that,’’ Ramirez added.
Top officials from muay thai, taekwondo, boxing, wrestling, judo, arnis, pencak silat, karate, kickboxing, jiu jitsu, sambo and wushu gathered last week during the first reading of HB 1526, which seeks to ban minors from competitive full-contact sports.
They came up with a position paper enumerating the importance of starting the development of their athletes at a young age and the rules the NSAs impose to make it safe for every competitor.
The House committee on youth and sports development chaired by Manila Rep. John “Yul Servo” Nieto held its first reading last week of HB 1526, which was filed by Ako Bicol representatives Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Elizaldy Co.
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