THE move to form a firm, allied program and unified athletic association for university sports finally got rolling on Tuesday.
Representatives from various collegiate leagues in the country sat down with officials of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to discuss the formation of a united collegiate sports program in the country, a move that quickly got a positive reception from no less than the head of the Youth and Sports Development Committee of the House of Representatives.
Congressman Conrado Estrella, chairperson of the Youth and Sports Committee, was in attendance at the Multi-Purpose Arena at the Philsports Complex in Pasig together with member Congressman Mark Zambar during the opening day of the National Consultative Meeting on Collegiate Sports to show their support for the ambitious endeavor.
Close to 70 universities, colleges, and athletic groups from across the country were represented in the event presided over by PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez.
Zambar, of the party list PBA (Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta), said Congress is supportive of the undertaking provided ‘we have to see a firm plan to work together and find direction.’
“This is the bridge we have been looking for, ultimately helping us have better performances in the elite level like the Asian Games and the Olympics,” he said.
Ramirez agreed, adding, “we came here to build bridges. Yes, there are sad stories, but we have to learn from those stories.”
“We know there is strength in partnerships, so we are partnering with the Department of Education to fortify the Palarong Pambansa with the Commission on Higher Education for tertiary sports, with the Department of Interior and Local Government, and different local government units for grassroots sports,” added the PSC chief.
Ramirez stressed the PSC is only a catalyst.
“If they decided to form an umbrella association or whatever path they want to take as a group, we will support them,” said the PSC chairman, who was joined by commissioners Ramon Fernandez and Charles Maxey, and executive director Atty. Sannah Frivaldo during the event.
“We have to start somewhere, and we have to start now.”