PSC to focus on grassroots, asks NSAs to find backers
The Philippine Olympic Committee and the national sports associations (NSAs) under its wings must pour their attention completely on the training of elite athletes, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) says as it wants to focus its funding on grassroots development.
PSC Chair William “Butch’’ Ramirez reiterated on Tuesday the necessity of private funding for the NSAs to mold their athletes into world-class bets, admitting that the government sports agency’s monetary reserve isn’t a bottomless pit.
“Most of the PSC funds just went to the training and participation of our elite athletes, leaving no money for grassroots development,’’ Ramirez told the Inquirer.
The PSC coughed up almost P240 million for the participation of Team Philippines in the just-concluded 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, an amount that translated into a fourth-place overall finish in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The SEA Games budget, which was sourced by the PSC from the national sports development fund filled up by shares coming from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., covered the expenses of the entire 980-strong PH delegation, including 641 athletes from 38 sports.
Form of investment
Ramirez welcomed the support of private companies and foundations like the MVP Sports Foundation, which has been helping several NSAs, but maintained more financial backing will be needed from sources outside of the government.
He encouraged other institutions and companies to recognize the value of investing in the development of athletes.
“PSC should really focus on grassroots [development] while foreign training and participation of athletes belong to the NSAs. They must learn to raise their own funds,’’ said Ramirez.
He explained that funding the training programs of elite athletes for foreign competitions has been too costly for the government, especially that the country is just beginning to bounce back from the adverse impact of the global health pandemic. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.