SEA Games training bubbles get government OK
MANILA, Philippines–National athletes bound for the Southeast Asian Games can now enter their respective bubble training under the strict supervision of the government.
The Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Health and the Games and Amusements Board have released a joint administrative order, enumerating the implementing guidelines on how athletes and their national sports associations should safely conduct a bubble-type environment for training.
The approval of JAO No. 2021-0001 came in timely since sports facilities in Baguio City will be ready once training commences in July as well as the training bubble of sports associations that decided to pick their own venues.
Based on the order signed by PSC Chairman William Ramirez, GAB Chairman Baham Mitra and DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, contact and non-contact sports got the go-signal to train in areas placed under moderate and low-risk community quarantine classifications.
Under strict guidance by the PSC Medical Unit, athletes and personnel for the bubble training will be determined by the sports association and endorsed by the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Paralympic Committee to the PSC.
The maximum number of individuals allowed to participate inside the bubble will be based on the risk assessment conducted by the PSC along with the POC, PPC and the sports associations.
The JAO has also instructed the deployment of health and safety officers to continuously monitor the health status of all individuals inside the training area with all plans and activities coordinated with the host local government unit and regional Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Infectious Diseases.
Members of the national team that are below 18 years old are required to have a written consent from their parents.
PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, the Team Philippines’ chef de mission in the coming SEA Games in Vietnam, gave his stamp of approval in the ongoing preparations at the PSC facilities at Teacher’s Camp in Baguio City where it will host athletes from boxing, karate, athletics, muaythai and possibly kickboxing.
The facilities in high-altitude Baguio include a newly built 175-bed dormitory that was recently turned over by the Department of Public Works and Highways to the PSC.
Fernandez said he plans to seek the advice and approval of the DOH and IATF on the possibility of using 50 percent of the 175 beds in the PSC dormitory since the athletes will be all vaccinated come July.
Under the DOH and IATF guidelines, only 30 percent of the bed capacity will be allowed for occupancy.
A total of 626 Filipino athletes from 39 sports will see action during the Nov. 21-Dec. 2 Games in the city of Hanoi, which will require all participating athletes and coaches to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Besides the bubble training in Baguio, other SEAG-bound sports have established their own training bubbles.
Archery has been training in Dumaguete City, fencing in Ormoc City, weightlifting in Cebu, Bohol and Zamboanga City, cycling in Tagaytay, sepak takraw and beach volleyball in Ilocos Norte, triathlon in Subic, table tennis in Taguig, canoe-kayak/dragonboat in Tacloban and skateboarding in Cebu.