Health protocols set for bubble training in Laguna

Published January 16, 2021, 10:35 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Marc Velasco
PSC national training director Marc Velasco (PSA Images)

As athletes from boxing, karate and taekwondo enter the Inspire Sports Academy for bubble training in preparation for different Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, national training director Marc Velasco said that they are ready for any eventuality when it comes to COVID-19 emergency.

Velasco, tasked by the Philippine Sports Commission to head the training in Calamba, Laguna, said they have protocols set for the 60 individuals – athletes, coaches, secretariat and medical staff – at the facility.

“We’re ready for all scenarios. We expect na may mag-positive (for COVID-19)… sana wala. But we’re ready,” said Velasco as he appeared on the Saturday sports show The Chasedown on One PH channel over Cignal TV.

“May threshold kami na pinagusapan (with the national sports associations), depende sa type of infection (if there is an outbreak) there might be a chance to shut down the bubble training.”

“If mayroong mag-positive (one or two) we have a protocol in place, we have isolation area and we have the support of the local government of Calamba, they will help,” said Velasco, also the chief of staff of PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

The training, Velasco said, will run for three months, although it is up to the NSA when to call their athletes for competition since most of the Olympic qualifiers will start in April.

He said that the PSC sent out instructions to the NSAs regarding the opportunity to train inside the bubble, but only three – boxing, karate and taekwondo – responded to maximize the chance to train the athletes.

There are some, Velasco said, that have asked permission to train outside, particularly the fencers as Philippine Fencing Association president Richard Gomez will host them in Ormoc City where he is the mayor.

“We went through their protocol, the fencers will train in Ormoc, but we’ll still monitor their movement (health wise). For other NSAs, what they can do is to plan a specific protocol,” said Velasco.

“Few other sports are interested, pero yung mga NSA sila mismo dapat mag-announce. Kami lang naman we’ll try to accommodate them. But for now, we received requests for these three sports.”