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    NSAs oppose bill seeking to ban minors in full-contact sports

    Dec 7, 2020

    NATIONAL sports associations (NSAs) from combat sports are opposing House Bill 1526 that bans minors from engaging in such activities competitively.

    A total of 13 NSA officials, led by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is also the president of the arnis federation in the Philippines, signed a position paper to oppose the proposal filed by Ako Bicol Reps. Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Elizaldy Co.

    Other signatories, high-ranking officials of their respective sports, include Richard Gomez of fencing, Pearl Managuelod of muay, Princess Jacel Kiram of pencak silat, Wharton Chan of kickboxing, Dave Carter of judo, Richard Lim of karate, Ferdinand Agustin of jiu jitsu, L. Pietro Paolo Claudio of sambo, Raul Samson of taekwondo, Ed Picson of boxing, Alvin Aguilar of wrestling, and Julian Camacho of wushu.

    “We compliment the vigilance and dutifulness of our honorable congressmen. However, the combat sports NSAs strongly oppose prohibiting minors from participating in combat sports competitions, whether full contact or semi-contact,” a part of the position paper stated.

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    The position paper stated that organizing events for minors are part of the talent identification and grassroots program of each NSAs, and are conducted in strict regulations that protect participants such as the wearing of protective gears, head gears, vests, shin guards, elbow pads, groin guards, and breast protectors.

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    Medical forms and parental and guardian consent are also required to be submitted by all athletes prior to the event.

    The youth, the position paper also stated, has also been delivering medals for the country in international competitions including the Youth Olympic Games which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) endorses.

    The NSAs also made recommendations that includes strict adherence to safety tenets, review the policies of the Palarong Pambansa and make necessary amendments that streamline all sporting events from grassroots to elite levels, and ensure adherence to international federation rules.

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      The NSAs also recommend a bill to safeguard youth athletes in both amateur and professional sports, which includes but not limited to anti-doping, regular medical check-ups, rest period in between competitions, gender-based violence, harassment, trafficking, and technical and games rules updates.

      “In summary, we urge our honorable lawmakers to consider the preceding information in their deliberations on this bill. We hope that the impact such a bill could make on our respective sports development would be taken to mind before any decisions are made,” said the NSAs.

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