After three boxers delivered medals for Team Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics, there is great optimism that Filipino pugs can deliver another big performance in the 2024 Summer Games in Paris, France.
This positive outlook led to the inclusion of two boxers to the new list of Olympics Solidarity Scholarship Grant recently approved during a General Assembly of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
The two boxers under this project of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) include 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Rogen Ladon in men’s category, and up and coming women’s fighter Aira Villegas.
“The sport of boxing delivered in the Olympics, that’s why we gave two slots in the list of scholarship grants,” said POC president Bambol Tolentino in a recent interview with Manila Bulletin.
Aside from the two boxers set for the scholarship grant, also approved by the Olympic body in the country are Tokyo Olympic veterans EJ Obiena of pole vault and weightlifter Elreen Ann Ando.
Joining them are Filipino fencing prodigy Samantha Catantan, a member of the Pennsylvania State University fencing team, Jericho Francisco of skateboarding, wrestling’s Allen Mitch Arcilla, and Patrick Coo of BMX.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) Secretary-General Ed Picson said the inclusion of Ladon and Villegas is a big help for the two in their bid to earn spots in the Paris Olympics.
“Of course we’re happy for our boxers. This would surely add to their motivation and drive to qualify and do well in the 2024 Paris Olympics,” said Picson in a message sent last Saturday, Sept. 11.
“We thank the POC for their faith in our athletes.”
Under the IOC program, the Olympic Solidarity is to provide assistance to all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) like the POC for the development of athletes “in particular those with the greatest needs of it”.
This program is under Rule 5 of the IOC charter.
Every month, the local Olympic body would receive $7,500 from the IOC and that amount would be divided among the eight Filipino athletes, which means each would be receiving $937.50 (almost P47,000) per month.