Entire Vietnam SEA Games delegation to receive funding from PSC
MANILA, Philippines–No athlete will be left behind when Team Philippines embarks on its Southeast Asian Games title-defense mission in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Commissioner Ramon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission said on Wednesday that the sports-funding agency has decided to shoulder the expenses of the entire delegation of athletes and coaches during the 11-nation meet on May 12-23.
“(PSC) Chairman Butch (Ramirez) thought it would be better to support all our athletes going to the Games as long as the budget allows it,’’ said Fernandez, the country’s chef de mission to the Vietnam Games.
The Philippine Olympic Committee initially submitted 656 athletes and 162 officials in 39 sports for the approval of the PSC while including 82 more athletes whose participation in the SEA Games will be paid by their respective national sports associations.
“All of these athletes now will be funded by the PSC,’’ said Fernandez.
The PSC board agreed to fund the actual expenses of the whole team in the Games, including the coaching staff for each sport.
POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino has expressed his gratitude to the PSC, saying the commitment would beef up the team, which is bidding to finish at least in the top three of the medal standings in Hanoi.
“Comparing the numbers when we hosted the Games in 2019, we’ll have a delegation that’s slashed almost in half from three years ago,’’ said Tolentino.
“But we’ll have a fighting team in Vietnam, setting aside the difficulties of training and competing or training overseas because of the (COVID-19) pandemic,’’ added Tolentino.
Team Philippines won a total of 149 gold medals, 117 silvers and 121 bronzes in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila and most of these athletes will still be around in the coming Vietnam Games.
The PSC previously announced that it would only finance the 2019 SEAG medalists classified as Class A athletes or those who passed the criteria set by the POC.
Filipino athletes outside that category but were still included in the lineup belong to the Class B category, whose participation in Hanoi was supposed to be sponsored either by the POC or their NSAs.
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
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