NSAs urged to find alternate venues for now
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez said Tuesday that they are waiting for the green light from the medical group on when to open three government sports venues for the training of Tokyo Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls.
Ramirez said some facilities in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, the Philsports Complex in Pasig City and the training center in Baguio City can be used for training as long as these venues pass safety and health protocols.
The Rizal Memorial Stadium, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and ULTRA are currently being used as temporary medical facilities for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients with a total of 262 admitted as of Tuesday.
Ramirez, however, encouraged leaders from National Sports Associations (NSA) to find alternative training venues for their athletes’ training especially now that the government has put Metro Manila and nearby provinces to General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
“The NSA Affairs of the PSC has been coordinating meetings, kasi yung mga NSA leaders, mas alam nila kung paano ang gagawin at kailangan ng mga atleta nila,” Ramirez said during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum presented by San Miguel Corp, Go For Gold PH, Milo Philippines, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, Smart and Upstream Media.
“Siyempre our biggest concern is the health of our athletes kaya we are navigating through this situation thoroughly. We will support whatever plans they have for their athletes,” he added.
Some combat sports are actually proposing putting up an isolated training camp similar to what the NBA has been doing in order to resume their athletes’ training.
These proposed training camps must pass the health standards naturally.
National athletes are expected to be busy next year with different Olympic qualifying tournaments for the 2021 Tokyo Games as well as the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games in late 2021.
All athletes have been sent home to their provinces following the virus outbreak and the implementation of quarantine restrictions since last March.
At the moment, the country only has four Olympic qualifiers in pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.
Ramirez said the agency already signed checks to continuously fund the training of these priority athletes, particularly Obiena and Yulo, who train in Italy and Japan.