ABAP offers career path for national boxers
MANILA, Philippines–Medal-winning athletes normally end up as coaches at the end of their careers and, at worst, left to fend for themselves.
But that’s not the way it is at the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.
Abap chairman Ricky Vargas revealed the promising career path of their national boxers during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards Night at the Diamond Hotel on Monday that would sustain their livelihoods once serving the country through boxing is over.
“Our mission is not just to win medals. Our mission in Abap is to help what you can become after you become a boxer,’’ said Vargas after receiving the third national sports association (NSA) of the year award from the PSA.
Vargas gladly announced that former world champion boxer and five-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Josie Gabuco is now a member of the Abap board as part of the association’s objective to provide their former athletes a bright future.
“One of these days, one of you boxers will lead Abap,’’ said Vargas. “They (boxers) are our leaders and our future leaders.’’
According to Vargas, the association has partnered with the University of Baguio to ensure that their boxers in the national pool would go to school and eventually finish their education while following their passion to win medals in international competitions.
Former Baguio City mayor Peter Rey Bautista, whose family owns UB, approved the request of the Abap for the members of its national pool to enroll that could pave the way for them to earn a diploma.
“I asked him (Bautista) if our boxers can enroll for free and he said ‘just bring them here and they will study’,’’ said Vargas.
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