PSC chairman bares plan to refurbish, expand national training center in Baguio City
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez visit athletes at the national training center in Baguio. Gerry Ramos

BAGUIO - Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez has bared plans to develop and expand the national training center located inside the Teachers' Camp here.

Baguio's cool weather and its high elevation (5,050 feet above sea level) makes the country's summer capital an ideal place for athletes to train, according to Ramirez.

If and when it pushes through, Ramirez plans to construct a complex that can house athletes from six to eight sports.

"Puwede talagang ayusin ito," sair Ramirez after visiting the Filipino athletes currently housed in the PSC national training center on Tuesday. "It's not bad to have a complex here.

"VIP ang weather dito and ideal sa training. Parang Colorado Springs," added Ramirez, referring to the well-known US Olympic Training Center where American athletes regularly train.

Around 100 athletes are currently based in Baguio composed of members of the boxing, track and field, and canoe kayak teams.

Ramirez said the proposed training complex to be constructed could accommodate as many as 400 athletes.

He said a similar training center has already been built in Shanghai, China.

"Meron parang MoA (Mall of Asia) dun (sa Shanghai) na sa gilid mayroon siyang fencing, tapos sa isang gym may 10 to 12 sports," said Ramirez.

He said funds for the construction of the complex won't be a problem since the previous PSC administration left a significant amount in the government sports agency's coffers prior to the turnover.

"I also have to thank the previous administration for keeping safe some money," the only two-time chairman in PSC history said. "Without that money, I will not be very, very aggressive."

Ramirez later presided over the Directional Meeting on the establishment of the physical fitness and sports development council as part of the ongong sports caravan of the PSC.

Some 14 mayors from different provinces in Luzon, including those from Abra, Pangasinan, Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Tarlac, and Bataan, attended the event.

Ramirez was joined by commissioners Arnold Agustin and Charles Maxey, along with Philippine Sports Institute national training director Mark Velasco, and sports caravan project director Ronnel Abrenica.

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