A SHOOTING champion turned distinguished sports official.
Multi-titled national pistol king Nathaniel `Tac’ Padilla assumes a new role after he was named recently as chef de mission of the Philippine team to the second Asian Youth Games on August 16-24 in Nanjing, China.
“I’m thankful to POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) president Peping Cojuangco for appointing me to the prestigious position,” said the 48-year-old Padilla, general manager of the family-owned Spring Cooking Oil.
“It’s a great honor to continue serving the country.”
But Padilla is not yet saying goodbye to the sport of shooting where he has collected countless international and local gold medals.
“After helping prepare and leading the national team to Nanjing, I’d go back to the sport which I’ve loved since I first won in the Benito Juarez Cup in Mexico when I was barely 12 years old,” Padilla added.
Padilla has actually qualified for the Southeast Asian Games this year in Myanmar, where he’s supposed to make his 18th appearance in the biennial showpiece. But the host country cancelled his event, rapid fire pistol, in the shooting competition.
According to Padilla, the Asian Youth sportsfest will serve as qualifying competition for the Youth Olympic Games set also in Nanjing next year.
There will be 15 sports disciplines and 118 events. These are aquatics (diving and swimming), athletics, badminton, basketball, fencing, golf, handball, judo, rugby, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis and weightlifting. Discussion on whether or not to include football is still ongoing.
Padilla is currently the chairman of the local shooting association’s NYDP (national youth development program). But this is the first time that he will assume a position of international importance in sports.
The national squad is expected to be formed before the deadline of entry by name on June 25.
Age restriction for athletes are January 1-December 31 1999 for swimming, shooting, squash, table tennis and tennis; January 1, 1996-December 31-1998 for diving, golf, handball and judo; January 1, 1996-December 31, 1997 for basketball and rugby; January 1, 1997-December 31-1999 for fencing and weightlifting; January 1, 1997-December 31, 1998 for athletics; and January 1, 1995-December 31, 1998 for badminton.