NCAA: St. Benilde looks after 250 scholar-athletes

Published July 2, 2020, 5:19 PM

by Nick Giongco

In this file photo, College of St. Benilde center Justin Gutang, left, and Carlo Young celebrate after scoring in the 95th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. (MB File Photo)

The 250-strong scholar-athletes of the College of St. Benilde (CSB) will remain under the wings of the learning institution.

Former national athlete Stephen Fernandez, head of the Benilde Center for Sports Development, said that despite the massive downscaling of the proposed NCAA Season 96, the school won’t let go of its scholar-athletes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will continue to guide our student athletes while online training and conditioning would be an option,” he said. “We will also wait for the guidelines as to how the events will be played in the NCAA this 2021.”

The 2021 NCAA Season will only include basketball, volleyball, swimming and track and field but CSB announced that even players from football, taekwondo, chess, lawn or soft tennis, table tennis, beach volleyball and badminton as well as non-NCAA events such as fencing and arnis would be protected.

With CSB deciding to maintain them, the athletes‘ perks will not be affected, including those whose tuition fees are paid partially or full by the school.

These athletes also are exempt from paying miscellaneous fees, such as recollection, retreat and graduation payments and are given monthly allowances and medical checkups.

Housing is also provided for those who are from outside Metro Manila.

The school also announced that recruitment of new athletes has been placed on hold given the current situation.

“We made a commitment to the athletes and their families,” Fernandez said. And we remain true to its mission of faith, service and communion.”

CSB has produced a bevy of marquee athletes through the years, including wushu specialist Agatha Wong and taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora.

Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, now stranded and training in Kuala Lumpur, is also enrolled at CSB although she is on leave.