Fencing, archery put up model training bubbles
The national fencing team has set up a training camp in Ormoc City to be shielded from the deadly tentacles of COVID-19 even as the country’s archers have inflated their own bubble in Dumaguete City.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has welcomed this training model adopted by both sports and encouraged other national sports associations preparing for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) to explore a similar arrangement.
National training director Marc Edward Velasco backed the idea since the bubble setup of athletes gearing for the Olympics is no longer feasible due to the uncertainties caused by the spike of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces.
“We are talking of almost a thousand athletes, so putting them in one bubble would not be viable,’’ said Velasco.
Plans to open camps at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and Philsports in Pasig City for majority of the 626 athletes from 39 sports bound for the SEA Games on Nov. 21-Dec. 2 in Hanoi, Vietnam, have been shelved.
PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, the chef de mission of Team Philippines to the SEA Games, informed the joint SEAG task force composed of officials from the Philippine Olympic Committee and the PSC that the latter is inclined to partner with local government units which are willing to adopt teams to train in their areas.Other secure areas needed
According to Fernandez, the idea is based on the successful bubble training of fencing in Ormoc City, where fencing chief Richard Gomez is the city mayor, and archery after World Archery Philippines president Clint Aranas struck an agreement with Dumaguete City officials.
“Despite many uncertainties, the national team can be certain that we are working very hard to make sure they will be prepared to defend our title,’’ said Fernandez.
The decision of the PSC was triggered by the strict lockdown imposed in the National Capital Region along with Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan that affected the training of taekwondo jins and boxers at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba as well as the preparation of athletes from other sports within the area. INQ