By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Pia Cayetano on Thursday welcomed the signing of the law creating the National Academy of Sports that would offer secondary education program with special curriculum on sports to boost Filipino athletes’ performance.
“I have always believed that sports can transform lives and uplift communities. As a former student-athlete and national team player for volleyball, this measure is close to my heart, and has been part of my advocacy for a decade,” said Cayetano, a triathlete herself.
Cayetano thanked President Duterte, colleagues in the Senate and House for their contribution and support to the measure.
The said facility would be located at New Clark City in Tarlac province, which was the venue used during the Philippines’ hosting of the Southeast Asian Games last December.
“These centers have allowed their young student-athletes to pursue their passion in sports, get the training they need, and still stay in school. We have so much talent all over the country, but for many, it has always been a choice – to study or to train. Now they can have both!” Cayetano stressed.
“With the enactment of this law, we are a step closer towards building a better future for millions of young Filipinos who have the potential to excel both in sports and in life. They can now receive world-class training while pursuing their academic education,” she further said.
The lawmaker said that though the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed much of the way Filipinos live, “it will just be a matter of time that our athletes will be back training in full force.”
“This law will certainly open more doors for our youth, including opportunities for college scholarships and the chance to represent our country. But beyond this is the opportunity to build their character and teach them values like hard work and discipline through sports, which will prepare them for a brighter future ahead,” she said.
She also said the National Academy of Sports would be instrumental in cultivating national pride: “training with the best in the country will elevate our young athletes’ level of performance in regional and international sports competitions.”
“This will enable us to build on our recent victory in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The foundation has been laid; the time has come to build a nation of winners,” she said.
Read more: Duterte signs National Academy of Sports Law