President Marcos to PSC chief: ‘Take care of the athletes’
MANILA, Philippines—Prioritize the proper nutrition of the national athletes.
This was the simple directive by no less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Noli Eala that will help guarantee a healthy physique and a sound mind of Filipino athletes bound to carry the national colors in international meets.
Eala got the instruction directly from the President during the courtesy call of world No. 3 pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena recently at Malacanang.
“We had the opportunity to talk to our President and he told me to take care of the athletes. He said their nutrition should really be taken care of,” said Eala.
Proper nutrition is essential for the national athletes across all sports, especially the elite ones competing in major foreign tournaments such as the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, the Olympics and the World Championships.
“And I think that’s a policy direction that perfectly fits our plans in the PSC, so we will focus on this,” said Eala, whose chief objective is to take care of the national athletes like never before.
The PSC has never been remiss in its all-out effort to support the athletes through the years by providing proper food and nutrition specific to the needs of the athlete in a particular sport.
Eala, in his second month at the helm of Philippine sports, felt that President Marcos wants the PSC to do even better in nourishing athletes as the nation aims to sustain its gains in sports with the 2024 Paris Olympics less than two years away.
“That’s what we will do,” said Eala.
Beginning in 2021, the PSC started catering nutritional meals for the athletes during their bubble training at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and Philsports Complex through the Sports Nutrition Unit (SNU).
The government agency for sports currently provides meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as morning and afternoon snacks to the different national teams.
PSC nutritionists also design specific meal plans for the athletes in a bid to ensure optimal nutrition for their training that could boost their performance in training and competitions.
They continuously offer daily online consultations and lectures for national athletes and coaches, from basic meal programs to other nutritional requests with the PSC promoting nutritional awareness through social media.
A total of 34,278 meals were served to athletes and coaches from the national pool in 2019 at the renovated nutrition halls of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and Philsports in Pasig City.