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PSC creates PSI, steps up attack on POC

  • Written by Ed Andaya
  • Published in Other Sports
  • Read: 501

WITH the Damocles Sword still hanging over  the head of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC),  the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is starting to put the house in order starting January, 2017.

The PSC announces the launching of the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) and tapped former Philippine Center for Sports Medicine, strength and conditioning coach Marc Velasco as PSI national  training  director.

PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez  said the PSI is patterned  after successful sports programs of China, Japan England,  Australia, Singapore and  even Hong  Kong  where  Velasco worked  from  2007-2015.
   
“The PSI will concentrate on  sports which really have medal potentials for 2020. We have  interviewed  our NSAs and two  to four of them have potential medal success for 2020,” said Fernandez.
   
“With the creation of PSI, the PSC hopes to come up with a wholistic and scientific approach to a comprehensive grassroots development program,” explained  Fernandez, who said the program  will be made available in all corners of the country.
   
Fernandez said the Ateneo de Davao-educated Velasco is the perfect man for the job.
   
“We pulled out Marc (Velasco) to be our national training director, from the Hongkong Sports Institute where he worked the last eigh t years,” added  Fernandez, one  of the  ‘PBA’s 25 Greatest Players.’
   
“He was the strength and conditioning coach and helped greatly in giving Hong  Kong a gold medal in the Olympics. His office will also monitor the training of all national athletes (elite).”
   
“Right now, he is busy organizing the  PSCPSI regional centers.”
   
Velasco was head of the PSC strength and conditioning Unit from 2002-2008  before transferring  as Strength and Conditioning coach in the Hong Kong Sports Institute in February 2008. He was also perfomance specialist in Hong Kong from December 2013 up the present.
   
With Velasco overseeing the athletes' physical conditioning,  Hong Kong captured its first-ever Olympic gold medal.
   
Meanwhile,  the #ChangeTheGame  and #LetRickyRun campaigns in the coming Nov. 25 elections of the Philippine Olympic Committee continue to pick up momentum  even during the long holiday break in observance of the All Saints' Day.
   
This  was after Fernandez himself released copies of the financial assistance  given by the previous PSC  to the POC, a  move deemed illegal by the new PSC commissioner.
   
“The mandate of the PSC is to fund the athletes thru their respective NSAs  but not the POC, as  the POC has nothing to do with the training and preparing  the  athletes  for competition. That is the responsibility of  the NSAs. The POC merely certifies the athletes and officials that will go to the IOC organized games,” wrote Fernandez  in reply to questions in various  social media sites.
   
“From the creation of Republic Act  6847 --  the birth of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) -- in 1990, it was only in the years 2010 to 2016 that  the  PSC gave financial assistance  to the POC.  This  over and above the FA  that the PSC gave the NSAs since 1990.”
   
Fernandez  said a total of P129, 607, 590.81 has been given by the  old  PSC  as financialassistance to the POC from the period of  January 2010  to June 2016.
   
“The COA (Commission on Audit)   will have  their hands full auditing PSCs FA to the POC in the  years 2010-2016,” said  the Cebu-based Fernandez.
   
“If  you look at FAs in 2013, there’s an  allocation of more than 16M, Asian Games Centennial Festival in Boracay. This was cancelled because of   typhoon  Yolanda. In  2014,  there’s another 15M for the  same event/ But I just found out now  that  this event was funded by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).”
   
Cojuangco’s would-be opponent in the  coming POC elections, Vargas,  also continued to gain  support from  various stakeholders in sports.
   
PBA stars, led by Jimmy Alapag,  have already  started an online  campaign with  the hashtag  #LetRickyRun in  response to Vargas’ disqualification.
   
“We need to see advancements in our country’s sports programs right now… it’s been locked in the status quo for too long… we all know we can do so much better… if you want our Olympians to compete for  a better medal count, they need  more support, financial backing and guidance… it starts with leadership… let’s welcome change,” Alapag was quoted as saying.
   
Among the prominent PBA personalities  supporting  Vargas’ campaign  are Al Panlilio,  coaches  Chot  Reyes, Louie Alas  and  Ryan  Gregorio, Asi Taulava, Gabe  Norwood, Ranidel  De  Ocampo,  Kelly Williams, Danny Seigle and Matt Roser.
   
Former PBA commissioner Chito Salud  aso  now serves as Vargas’ legal  counsel.