Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino welcomes the news that training of national athletes bound for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) will commence early January.
And the POC chief wants nothing less than to revert to the usual full-scale preparations of the national team if restrictions due to COVID-19 are eased.
“We prefer not to have a bubble-type training anymore. If we are going to train our athletes for the SEA Games, we should go full blast,’’ said Tolentino after the POC General Assembly at Grandmaster Hotel in Tagaytay City.
The Cavite representative noted the decrease of COVID-19 cases nationwide, including Metro Manila where the two main sports facilities controlled by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)—the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila and Philsports Complex in Pasig City—are located.
“We are down to alert level 2. We just have to follow strict health protocols and get all of the athletes and coaches vaccinated to prevent infections,’’ said Tolentino.
The PSC board has approved the resumption of training of selected national teams beginning Jan. 10 at RMSC, Philsports and at Baguio Training Camp, with the agency now in the process of evaluating which facilities can be used for training after athletes have not utilized them for almost two years.
Initially, the POC announced that 626 athletes from 39 sports would go to the Games, which was postponed this year due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the region.
“Some sports have already begun their preparation. We hope to do the same for the rest of the sports,’’ said Tolentino.
Athletes from track and field, boxing, muay thai and kickboxing have already set up camps in Baguio City and Benguet while archery and weightlifting are continuously working out in training camps in the Visayas.
After being shelved this year, the Vietnam Games was rescheduled from May 12 to 23 next year. INQ
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