No lobbying for equestrian inclusion in 2021 SEAG, says Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski

Published July 29, 2020, 3:35 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

‘We regret that it was scrapped but we have to move forward’ — Cojuangco-Jaworski
Equestrian Association of the Philippines president Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski (Photo from Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski’s Instagram account)

As much as she loves the sport dearly, Equestrian Association of the Philippines president Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski is not about to let anybody tell her to get off her high horse.

Jaworski said her federation will not lobby for the inclusion of the sport in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games after it was scrapped in the initial list of events.

Jaworski said they prefer to move forward from the organizers’ decision after host Vietnam made it clear they did not have the capacity to host the sport.

“Naging open naman sila sa amin,” she said in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum held online.

“Nanghihinayang din siyempre kami but kung ano man yung decision nila, we have to move forward na lang.”

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Jaworski won the equestrian gold medal on the final day of the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.

Equestrian was also scrapped in the 2019 SEAG that the country hosted. The last time it was held in the biennial meet was in 2017 in Malaysia, although the PH team failed to win a medal.

Jaworski said a SEAG competition could have been a perfect venue to develop the sport in the region.

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“It’s a good chance sana para mabigyan yung mga younger athletes something to look forward to,” she said.

Despite the development, Jaworski said their national athletes continuously train in Europe and the United States for future competitions. The athletes, she said, are adhering to whatever restrictions their training facilities are implementing during this time of pandemic.

She was also thankful that the Inter-Agency Task Force has also given the go signal to train, although they naturally practice social distancing as part of the sport.

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As challenging as it is, the association is working on delivering online activities for local athletes.

“Pagdating naman sa sports namin, may practical components pero ang magandang na-discover namin nitong quarantine is maraming private facilities around the country,” Jaworski said, adding that they have reached out to these venues to develop training programs for the future.

The country was supposed to host two international events this year, but both were cancelled due to global health crisis.