PAMPANGA Rep. Yeng Guiao said the training facility to be constructed in Clark should be built with the mindset that it can serve as the main hub for future editions of the Southeast Asian Games or even the Asian Games.
The representative of Pampanga’s first district admitted part of the plan in building a national training center in the former US military base is to make it capable of hosting major multi-sport events, both local and international.
The venue will be constructed with the help of both the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
“Actually, ang isang purpose pa is if in the future, if you want to host a Southeast Asian Games or an Asian Games, nandoon na ‘yun,” said Guiao, who also coaches Rain or Shine in the PBA.
The Philippines last hosted the SEA Games in 2005, but has not staged the Asiad since its second edition was held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in 1954.
Jakarta has already been awarded the hosting rights of the 2018 Asiad, while Cambodia will stage the 2023 SEA Games.
“I don’t know kung sapat na sa Olympics pero puwede ka naman managinip. Libre naman ‘yun. At least, Asian Games or Southeast Asian Games, ambisyunin mo na,” said Guiao.
Built in 1934, the Rizal Sports Complex is set to be replaced soon as the main training hub for national athletes after the PSC and Clark International Airport Corporation agreed in principle for the construction of a new training center in a 50-hectare lot at Clark.
Guiao said the sports facilities will likewise be beneficial to the area in terms of economic growth.
“Mag-hold ka ng mga weekly events doon, marami ang pupunta, mag-babakasyon at pumapasyal. Magbe-benefit ‘yung mga businesses doon. It’s economic growth for the area,” he stressed.
Guiao doesn’t see any problem with the training center being far-off from Manila since it will keep the athletes far away from distraction.
But with plans for a railway system and a direct access from NLEX to Clark, Guiao said the Clark facility will soon be accessible for Metro Manila spectators.
“Kapag nagsabay-sabay and na-consolidate na ‘yung planning natin diyan, you have a railway system, you have Clark Airport, you have NLEX,” said Guiao.