Manila Mayor Isko Moreno reiterated his determination to turn the city as the water polo capital of the Philippines.
In a Facebook post, Moreno said he has instructed Manila Sports Council (MSC) Director Roel de Guzman to discuss the program with Dale Evangelista, a former national team water polo star and currently chairman of Barangay 56 in Tondo, Manila.
“Isa po sa ating mga pangarap ay ang makapagtatag ng Water Polo Team dito sa lungsod at mapaunlad ang naturang sport hanggang sa makilala ang siyudad bilang Water Polo capital of the Philippines,” said the mayor in a post via his Facebook page Isko Moreno Domagoso.
“Kasabay ito ng tuloy-tuloy na pagsusulong natin sa sports and development. Asahan po ninyong mananatili ang suporta ng Pamahalaang Lungsod sa ating mga atleta at lilinangin natin nang husto ang husay nila sa iba’t ibang mga palaro,” Moreno added.
In a story published by Manila Bulletin last week, Evangelista revealed that he discussed with Moreno the program and the popular public servant was very much open to the idea.
Evangelista said they have already identified some aquatic facilities in the city, and that the development program is for the six districts of Manila.
The facilities identified include the Tondo Sports Complex and Vitas Aquatic Center for District 1, while District 2 has the Patricia Sports Complex, the Andalucia Sports Center in San Lazaro for District 3 and the Dapitan Sports Complex for District 4.
Venues are still being finalized for districts 5 and 6, although the Aquatic Center inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Vito Cruz is an option since it is also a possible venue once competition begins.
Aside from that, Moreno said a new venue could also be a training venue and that health protocols – once the program starts – will be strictly followed.
“Maaaring magamit ng mabubuong Water Polo Team ng lungsod ang mga bago nating pasilidad gaya na lamang ng Paraiso ng Kabataan Sports Complex sa Sta. Cruz,” he said.
“Titiyakin po natin ang pagtalima sa mga regulasyon ng IATF ukol sa training ng ating mga atleta.”
Evangelista has given Moreno the assurance that the national water polo team is fully supportive of the program.
A veteran of the Southeast Asian Games, he said that national team members led by coach Rey Galang, veteran athletes Roy Canete and Tani Gomez will be the backbone in training the aspiring athletes.
“Of course tutulong na kami dyan, ang national team para maging maganda ang programa. Hindi lang basta basta ituturo ang basic sa water polo, techniques na din galing mismo sa members ng national team,” he said.