PHILIPPINE weightlifting, the only sport to have ended the 20-year medal drought for the country in the Olympics, has aired a plea for help from major sports stakeholders.
Samahang Weighlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella on Tuesday called on the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Department of Education, NCAA and UAAP to help the sport.
“We should be given priority because we have proven ourselves in the Olympics,” Puentevella saud during the PSA Forum at Tapa King in Cubao. “There’s no reason why we won’t be given priority.”
Puentevella said P15 million worth of new equipment — of it Meralco pledging to give our P5 million worth of barbels — is on its way but he chose to hold it until the PSC finishes the new gymnasium it promised to build inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
“The gym we are using is the same gym we have used for the last 30 years. Parang hindi bagay sa new equipment. Luma ang gym namin,” added Puentevella. He said the new weightlifting gym was to be built behind the tennis courts and beside the gymnastics hall.
He also asked the PSC to raise the number of national coaches from the present five to 10, “because we need to reach out to more cities in the country. Right now we only have hubs in Manila, Zamboanga, Bohol, Cebu and Baguio City."
The former Bacolod congressman said national weightlifters are training separately in their respective gyms in the provinces, underscoring the need for a national training center for the sport.
“If we can't make our national centers attractive, how can we make the sport attractive to potential athletes?” he added.