Senator-elect Alan Peter Cayetano has reiterated the importance of having a grassroots sports program to enable aspiring athletes to receive formal training as early as possible.
Cayetano noted that “grassroots sports,” often facilitated by small clubs and volunteers from sports organizations, are community-driven sports activities at a local level that are mainly recreational instead of aiming to achieve high levels of performance.
“For me ang pinakamahalaga, ibalik yung (it is very important to revive a) grassroots sports program. Dapat lahat ng eskwelahan natin, from the facilities hanggang doon sa mga nagtuturo at saka yung mga gamit, kumpleto (All schools should have this, from the facilities, up to teachers, including equipment, they should have a complete set),” Cayetano said during an interview at the Opening Ceremony of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Season 97 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
Cayetano said these programs should be included in education, stressing the need to integrate sports in the Philippine curriculum.
“Kahit sabihin nating magfocus tayo sa STEM, sa Science, sa Technology, sa Mathematics, kung wala tayong sports, wala tayong arts, wala tayong culture sa ating curriculum, kung walang facilities, ‘di po magiging buo ang edukasyon ng mga kabataan (Even if we focus on STEM—Science, Technology and Math, if we don’t have sports, if we don’t take arts, if we don’t take up culture in our curriculum, if we don’t have the facilities, our youth’s education would still be lacking),” he added.
Cayetano noted that while there are several big initiatives being done by the government in sports like the inauguration of the National Academy for Sports (NAS), this is not enough for the whole country.
The former House Speaker said he would pursue such initiatives on sports in the next 19th Congress in the Senate.
Cayetano principally authored House Bill No. 6312 which seeks the establishment of the National Academy of Sports (NAS) to enhance the athletic skills and talents of Filipino students.
The NAS, he said, would be serve as the premier training center for Filipino athletes and will be a catalyst that would ignite sports development in the country.