The plans of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to transform the city as the water polo capital of the country got a headstart as former national team star Dale Evangalista led the ocular inspection of different venues last week.
Evangelista, now a member of the water polo national team coaching staff, said Monday that they have already inspected five aquatic facilities within the city that will serve as venues for training of aspiring athletes.
“The facilities identified, and inspected, have passed the standards set by our group,” Evangelista told Manila Bulletin. “We also had a very good meeting with the officials of the Manila Sports Council.”
“The important thing is that the venue is well-maintained, the condition of the swimming pool, the facility itself, it can accommodate the participants, especially now we also have to implement health protocols.”
“Of course, aside from this program, Mayor Moreno reiterated the importance to follow the strict health protocols because we will follow the guidelines set by the government – the IATF,” said Evangelista, also the chairman of Barangay 56 in Tondo, Manila.
Moreno expressed his desire to turn Manila as the water polo capital of the Philippines, similar to what Barcelona did in Spain and the province of Kashiwazaki in Japan.
The popular public servant said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this type of sports program remains a focus of his office.
“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,” Moreno said.
“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.”
Aside from Evangelista, also present during the ocular inspection were water polo national team players Roy Cañete, Tani Gomez and Mark Jerwin Valdez, and coach Ricardo Dilapdilap.
They visited the Vitas Aquatic Complex, Andalucia Complex, Dapitan Complex Bagong Buhay Complex and the JCC Complex – all under the care of the Public Recreation Bureau.
MASCO officer-in-charge Roel De Guzman was also present during the ocular inspection.