PLANS for a new training center and the possible sale of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex have yet again been revived by sports officials as the Philippines faces another uphill battle in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco bared a 200-hectare land located inside the Clark complex in Pampanga is once again being considered to house the new training center for national athletes.
Cojuangco said several quarters are trying to help the POC get the long-overdue project off the ground.
“Things are beginning to fall into place,” Cojuango bared in the weekly POC radio program on DZSR Sports Radio 918 on Thursday. “We can finally have our own training center conducive to the health of the athletes.”
From the moment he assumed the POC post in 2004 yet, Cojuangco has long envisioned a new training center to replace the aging Rizal Sports Complex, which was built in 1934 for the Far Eastern Games (now known as the Asian Games) and had served as main stadium for the Southeast Asian Games thrice.
Aside from Clark, the POC chief had previously brought up a plan to build a training base for national athletes in Tanay, Rizal. [See Tanay eyed as venue of national training center]
Funds for the construction of the training center in the former US military base, officials hope, would come from the lease or sale of the PSC-maintained Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, which has long been the country’s training base and quarters for national athletes.
“If we can push through, then we will have what we have been waiting for,” said Cojuangco.
Selling the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, however, faces a major snag since the issue as to whether the venue is owned by the national government or the City of Manila has not been settled yet.