Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said that for the country to claim an Olympic gold medal, it should focus on Olympic sports down to the grassroots level in cooperation with all stakeholders.
Ramirez told local media practitioners in his recent visit to Cebu that among the Olympic sports that the country should focus on include boxing, taekwondo, archery, cycling, table tennis, badminton, athletics, swimming and weightlifting.
He added that with the creation of the Philippine Sports Institute it would be able to identify athletes at the grassroots level and train them for international exposure. Ramirez added that what is sad to note is that the Philippines is the only country in Asia that does not have a sports institute.
“There should be unity in all stakeholders including the PSC, national sports associations (NSA), Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to help identify athletes and coaches down from the grassroots level. The sports institute that would help in educating coaches, and provide sports science that would prepare the athletes for international competition,” Ramirez said.
He added that athletes should be given the opportunity to compete at an early age so as to develop their confidence, measure their development and prepare them for the Olympics. Ramirez noted that the PSC has received their marching orders from President Rodrigo Duterte to provide a healthy environment for the youth through sports.
Ramirez admitted that they have yet to receive their appointment papers from the President by December. He added that Philippine sports must move forward and bring back the trust and confidence of the athletes themselves.
Even if he is not yet formally appointed, Ramirez noted that he is not afraid to lose his job if he would not be able to bring the change that President Duterte wants in the field of sports as well.
“Even though we haven’t won a gold yet at the Olympics, although that’s important to us, what’s more, important is the values and the character of the office. Winning a medal at the greatest show on earth is just a bonus. I really don’t care how long we stay in our positions. If we can’t do what we’re supposed to, then we don’t have to be there,” he added.
Ramirez stated that if they would be able to work with all stakeholders, the Philippines might be able to succeed in winning the elusive gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. He added that with transparency and unity, it would bring Philippine sports to greater heights.
Ramirez was appointed as PSC chairman for the second time, having served as chairman from 2005 to 2009 under former Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Photo Courtesy: PeterM/Sportsrageous