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PSC gets ball rolling for college sports

MANILA, Philippines — The two-day National Consultative Meeting for Collegiate Sports yesterday drew instant allies from a pair of congressmen with the heart for Philippine sports.

Party List Rep. Mark Zambar and Pangasinan Rep. Conrado Estrella III graced the event that gathered close to a hundred representatives from around 60 colleges, universities and athletic associations nationwide.

Zambar, of the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA), said the Lower House is here to help.

“We at Congress are willing to help. But we have to see a firm plan. Let us all work together and find direction,” he said.

“This is the bridge we’ve been looking for,” added Zambar after the first day of the consultative meeting attended by representatives from school-based athletic groups like the UAAP, NCAA, NAASCU, NCRAA, PRISAA, FESSAP and CESAFI, among others.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez kicked off the two-day seminar at the Philsports Arena by admitting that in its 27 years of existence, the PSC has yet to fulfill its mandate in propagating tertiary sports.

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“After 27 years, the PSC has learned its lesson. We must help collegiate sports,” he said, adding that very soon, the government sports agency will try to put up a concrete program that will benefit all the colleges and universities nationwide.

Ramirez said success in the international arena like the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, the World Championships and Olympics begins in the grassroots, secondary and tertiary levels and then the elite ranks.

Estrella, who heads the House Committee on Youth and Sports, also graced the meeting that concludes today.

“We came here to build bridges. There are sad stories but we have to learn from those stories,” he said.

The PSC chief is hoping that the attendees can gather themselves and form a unified group for all school-based athletes, and vowed that the PSC will be there for support.

“The main purpose here is for the PSC to answer our mandate and take care of grassroots sports up to the tertiary level, and for us to listen to their stories and the state of sports development among the colleges and universities,” he added.

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