PSC to impose strict health protocols inside training bubble

Published January 7, 2021, 3:22 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) held an orientation Wednesday to Olympic aspirants in boxing, taekwondo and karate undergoing the training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna this month.

PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said the orientation emphasizes the safety protocols that the athletes needed to follow for their health safety and wellbeing during the pandemic.

“I am confident that we can all adjust to this, but know that the safety of athletes is paramount to the PSC,” said Fernandez.

Nonong Araneta, the country’s chief of mission to the Tokyo Olympics, also presided the orientation along with Fernandez to the 46 athletes and coaches entering the training bubble facility.

Members of the boxing team are scheduled to arrive from their respective provinces on Jan. 15, while taekwondo and karate squads will be on Jan. 16 to 17. Philippine Sports Institute National Training Director Marc Velasco said all travel orders are already being arranged.

The PSC’s Medical Scientific Athletes Services (MSAS) Unit crafted strict protocols for athletes where they will undergo a series of RT-PCR testing prior and upon entry. Several testing procedures will also be conducted during bubble training.

They have also encouraged participating athletes to restrict movement 14 days before entry and restricted interactions seven days prior to their entry in the bubble facility.

Athletes and coaches will be billeted in single and double occupancy rooms, with a pick-and-go scheme in food distribution throughout the bubble.

Services from the MSAS Medical Unit, Rehabilitation Unit, Strength and Conditioning Unit, Sports Massage Unit, Sports Physiology, Sports Nutrition and Sports Psychology Unit are also available for the athletes during their training.

The training bubble hopes to jumpstart the country’s campaign to add more qualifiers to the Tokyo Olympics set July 23 to Aug. 8.

So far, the country has four qualified athletes in pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.

Magno, who has been training in her hometown in Iloilo during the pandemic, will also join the training bubble to beef up her Olympic preparations.