Marcos heart for sports hailed

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Marcos heart for sports hailed
Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Top sports officials expressed confidence sports would have a prominent nook in the new national leadership as demonstrated by the participation of national athletes in the military-civic parade during the inauguration of new Philippine President Marcos yesterday.

In the historic moment at the National Museum, a total of 25 elite athletes from wushu, sepak takraw, jujitsu, judo, kurash, shooting, rowing and gymnastics joined the march that included the country’s other frontliners headed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“I am delighted seeing our athletes marching together with our healthcare workers and other frontliners at the military-civic parade during today’s swearing in ceremony of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,” said Go.

“As chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, I am one with President Marcos Jr. in highlighting the importance of sports in nation-building. I reiterate my firm commitment to always look after the welfare of our athletes and to push for long-term and grassroots sports development.

“These will both help our country become one of the sports powerhouses in Asia and to also encourage our young people to stay away from illegal drugs and criminality by going into sports,” he added.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino liked what he saw.

“We are thankful to the new administration, to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for putting sports on a rightful platform in his administration,” said Tolentino who is also the Tagaytay City mayor and PhilCycling chief.

“The POC, and the whole of Philippine sports for that matter, is more hopeful now that our athletes will be given more priority and attention under President Marcos,” he added.

The country is hoping to follow, if not improve, its glorious performances in the international stage under the Rodrigo Duterte administration that was highlighted by a breakthrough golden effort by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the Tokyo Olympics last year.

It is also under the past administration that the Filipino athletes emerged overall champions in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and produced world champions like gymnast Caloy Yulo.

“The athletes’ inclusion in the parade signals how serious President Marcos’s outlook on sports will be,” said Tolentino. “Sports is a tried, tested and certified unifying factor among us Filipinos – time and again, we unite each time our athletes compete, and win abroad.”

The Philippine Sports Commission coordinated the athletes’ inclusion in the parade.

Interestingly, the present leadership is still in the process of selecting potential successors to PSC officials or approve the possibility of retaining them.



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