PSC, FESSAP need each other

  • Written by Ed Andaya
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 825


WHEN the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) holds a two-day consultative meeting aimed at strengthening collegiate sports in the country on Oct. 17-18,  it would do well to first take a close, hard look at the achievements of the Federation of School Sports Association of  the  Philippines  (FESSAP) since 2011.

A  privately-funded organization duly recognized by the Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU), FESSAP is setting a good example of how collegiate sports should be managed by tapping the support of the private sector and bringing in dedicated and hard-working individuals known for their goal-oriented approach and management style.

Since 2011, FESSAP has been the.inspiration for so many school leagues all over the country, including those in the Visatas and Mindanao, for giving them the opportunity to represent the country in the world stage.

But it is also the envy of other so-called major sports groups which  feel jealous of FESSAP’s herculean achievements in so little time and with hardly any goverment support.

One can only imagine what FESSAP might have achieved in the  last four Summer Universiades, the ‘Olympics’ of university  athletes, if government money was added to the financial assistance  generously given by its  Filipino-Chinese benefactors

But in case our beloved leaders attending the coming two-day consultative meeting at the Philsports  Arena in Pasig  do  not know  it yet,  it is only proper  that they get a  honest-to-goodness update.
So you now ask, what have FESSAP and its quiet but hard-working  leaders accomplished in bringing  honors to the country since 2011?
Let  me count the ways:
--  In  2011 Shenzhen Universiade,  taekwondo star Samuel Thomas Morrison of Far Eastern University made history by bagging the  country’s first-ever medal -- a  silver -- in  men’s taekwondo.
It was the first time that FESSAP  sent a Filipino  delegation to the Universiade and  immediately brought home a medal.
-- Two years later,  in 2013 Kazan  Universiade,  GM Wesley So shocked the chess world by winning the gold medal following an  Armageddon-style playoff match.
In chess parlance, an Armageddon  match is  considered as the mother of all  playoff matches where  one player had to play five minutes and the other only  four to determine the champion.
So, then still a promising student at Webster University under five-time  women’s champion Susan Polgar,  defeated GM Zaven  Andriasian of  Armenia to win the coveted gold.
A high-ranking Russian sports official, who came all the way from  Moscow  to watch the final round up to the awarding ceremony, was visibly impressed as the Philippine flag was raised higher than the Armenian and Chinese flags.
The first words muttered by So  after  receiving  the Universiade gold and posing for photos with his new-found  fans from the Russian Republic of Tatarstan were “Thank you FESSAP.”
I should know. I personally heard the words. I was there.
-- In  2015 Gwangju Universiade,  a  United States-based golfer named  Lloyd Jefferson  Go  did the country proud with a strong seventh-place finish.
--  And only last August,  the FESSAP-supported  Filipino delegation celebrated the achievement of  wushu  star Jomar Balangui of University of Baguio, who  brought  home  another silver medal that glitters like gold.
No less than boxing legend Sen. Manny Pacquiao lauded  Balangui and FESSAP for this newest achievement in international sports.
But wait,  there’s more.
--  Last year,  FESSAP and  the Tagaytay City  government under Mayor Agnes Tolentino successfully hosted the 2016 World  University  Cycling Championship.
--  In 2018,  FESSAP will again host another FISU-sanctioned  event,  the World  University Golf  Championships at the Pradera Golf and Country in Lubao,  Pampanga.
WUGC  godfather  Bong Pineda and Pampanga  Gov. Lilia Pineda are  helping FESSAP in organizing the six-day event, which  hopefully, will  be another resounding  success  mainly due to FESSAP’s organizational skills.
-- Also,  FESSAP is helping organize   the  Asia-Pacific  University Games  scheduled  Dec. 4-7  in Cebu City with no less than FESSAP vice  president Baldomero  Estenzo as the  pointman.
So you see,  President Duterte’s marching order to get the youth involved in sports  and PSC’s  own “Make  sports accessible to all, involve  our youth in sports”  battlecry  can  find  a  perfect match   to FESSAP’s tried and tested  program.
Maybe the two -- PSC and  FESSAP -- can  find a  mutual ground  to work together to promote  collegiate sports at the FISU-level.
PSC, headed by chairman Butch  Ramirez  and  commissioners  Mon  Fernandez,  Charles Maxey, Celia Kiram and Arnold Agustin -- has   the  authority  from President Duterte  himself  to release  government money and finance  the  training of top student-athletes.
FESSAP, headed by David  Ong,  Alvin Tai Lian, Dr. Robert Calo and Estenzo, has the proven  expertise   and   track record  in  bringing  honors to the country.
If  you ask me, it is a  win-win solution to Philippine  sports.
After all,   PSC and  FESSAP need each  other.
*   *   *

Congratulations  to  St. Clare College-Caloocan  and  Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem for winning their  third  NAASCU men’s basketball championship  over De  Ocampo Memorial College.
A former top official of the Samahang  Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP),  Dr. Adalem and  his  family is  one of the ardent supporters of  sports   not only in their school  but in the whole  community as well.

NOTES -- Happy birthday  to sportswriter Danny Simon, who turned  another  year older last Oct. 10.
Birthday wishes also to  Emlio Aguinaldo College  coach Bong  Melocoton  (Oct.12),  Kelly  Grace  Oliveros   (Oct. 12),   Mark  Fampulme (Oct. 12),   Juju Bautista (Oct. 12) ,  Von  Tambeling (Oct. 11),   Dodot  Jaworski (Oct. 14),   BJ  Diswe (Oct. 14), Homer Cunanan  (Oct. 14),  Noel  Asinas (Oct.15)  and Tet Andolong (Oct.15).

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