Para athletes ask PSC for bubble training inclusion

Published March 1, 2021, 7:30 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) has requested the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to include its athletes in their proposed training bubble.

PPC President Mike Barredo said their para athletes are looking at competing in the 11th ASEAN Para Games that Vietnam is hosting in Hanoi on Dec. 17 to 23.

Barredo hopes the PH para athletes could use the four facilities for bubble training namely Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, Philsports Complex in Pasig City, Teachers Camp in Baguio and New Clark City Athletes Village in Tarlac.

“This is in preparation not only for the ASEAN Para Games but also for the Tokyo Paralympic Games and the 4th Asian Youth Para Games as well,” Barredo said in a statement.

The Tokyo Paralympics is scheduled Aug. 24 to Sept. 5, while the Asian Youth Para Games will be on Dec. 1 to 10 in Bahrain.

So far, para swimmer Ernie Gawilan is the lone qualifier to the Tokyo Paralympics.

The PSC is working to reclaim government-owned sports venues for future training of national athletes, although reports said that these venues are being eyed as vaccination and swab-testing centers.

Meanwhile, Barredo said the ASEAN Para Sports Federation Board of Governors are proposing four additional sports namely wheelchair basketball, CP football, cycling and sitting volleyball for this year’s Para Games.

Organizers have already approved 11 sports that include athletics, archery, badminton, boccia, chess, goalball, judo, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair tennis.

The last ASEAN Para Games was held in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where the Filipinos won 20 gold, 20 silver and 29 bronze medal.

The 2019 edition that the country was supposed to host was canceled due to the pandemic.