The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed hope that the recent developments in the National Academy of Sports (NAS) will pave the way for more Filipino student-athletes to pursue their dreams.
The NAS is an attached institution of DepEd, in close coordination with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). It aims to develop more future world-class Filipino athletes and increase youth interest in sports.
DepEd said that NAS has begun the construction of the learning center and training ground for Filipino scholar-athletes at the New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac. Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in a statement issued Thursday, Nov. 11, noted that the developments in NAs would assist student-athlete scholars in making their dreams a reality.
“These developments in our Academy will help us in nurturing the talents and potential of our student-athletes as we equip them through our world-class facilities while developing their academic capabilities and character,” Briones added.
The first phase consists of NAS Administration Building, Academic Building, and a Multi-purpose gym to be completed by February 2022.
Meanwhile, NAS Executive Director Joy Reyes said that the “momentous and historical event marks the beginning to showcase not just a physical structure, but an institution that will provide the educational advancement and development of high-quality sports programs, training, and experience to our future world-class student-athletes.”
On Oct. 09, NAS, DepEd, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) unveiled the ceremonial marker and architectural renders of the soon-to-be home of Filipino student-athletes and professionals.
Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat, and DEACO Atty. Revsee Escobedo noted that although the pandemic occurred amid the realization of the Academy, NAS officials and partners are determined to finish the construction.
Escobedo said that the emergence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic converged with the inception of the new Sports Academy.
“This circumstance has posed unprecedented challenges to the Ad Hoc Committee in their endeavor to commence initial preparations for the establishment of the Academy,” he said. “However, these did not stop them in their resolute determination to realize the ultimate goal of nurturing exceptional Filipino student-athletes,” he added.
DepEd said that in the future phases of the construction, the NAS will put up additional administrative, educational, and sports facilities.
It will include school buildings, gyms, auditorium, table tennis, martial arts, gymnastics, weightlifting training areas, basketball, and volleyball courts.
In June 2020, President Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11470 or the National Sports Academy Act to provide an avenue for secondary students who wants to pursue professional sports.
Duterte chose New Clark City, a rising metropolis and sports complex developed by the government, as the site of NAS.
DepEd said that NAS scholars can access world-class facilities inside the New Clark City, including the Athletics Stadium with a track certified as Class 1 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Aquatics Center certified by Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA).
For School Year (SY) 2021-2022, DepEd said NAS welcomed its first batch of student-athlete scholars with a specialized sports-oriented education curriculum via remote learning modalities due to the ongoing public health situation in the country.