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Mikee: Dream come true

Philippine Sports Training Center Act Photo Op
President Duterte poses with Philippine Sports Commission officials led by chairman Butch Ramirez, Senate president Tito Sotto, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other local sports patrons like 1Pacman party-list representative Mikee Romero after the formal signing of the Philippine Sports Training Center Act on Wednesday.

1Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero yesterday thanked President Duterte for signing the law that will greatly help national athletes realize their dreams of winning the ultimate prize – winning an Olympic gold medal.

In the presence of several sports top brass, Duterte allocated P3.5 billion for the establishment of a modern sports complex for national athletes, otherwise known as the Philippine Sports Training Center (PSTC).

“It’s a dream come for our national athletes because in two years time they will have a modern sports facility that is at par with some of the best in the world,” said Romero. “Certainly, this is one of the landmark sports projects under the administration of President Duterte.”

The construction of the state-of-the-art sports complex is line with the government’s policy ‘to promote and develop sports in the country.’

“Everything about this PSTC must be a labor of love, graft and corruption-free and must meet world-class standards,” said Romero, who was joined by Philippine Olympic Committee Chairman and Tagaytay Rep. Bambol Tolentino and Manila Rep. Manny Lopez.

It will cater to athletes in archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, bowling, taekwondo, karate, judo, wrestling, cycling (velodrome), dance sport, football, gymnastics, handball, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, shooting, softball, squash, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, wall climbing, water polo and weightlifting.

Though the P3.5 billion is a small amount relative to how much other Southeast Asian neighbors have spent in building their own sports training centers, Romero believes the indomitable Filipino spirit will come to the fore in the athletes’ bids to reach their full potential.

The PBA team owner who is also chairman of the United Polo Players Association said their next target is to ensure that the Philippine Sports Commission will have a sufficient funding.

“That is high in our priority list,” Romero added. “PSC should not only have sufficient funding but also powers to advance the welfare of national athletes through compensations and rewards.

Health and livelihood support should also be given not only to national athletes but also to the coaches who have done great service to the country in the past.

On his part, PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez labeled the passing of the law as a ‘tremendous motivator’ for a sports leader.

He said it’s going to be tough but it will certainly help the national athletes in the future.

“It’s not easy. But we are given this opportunity to shape the Philippine sports training center,” said Ramirez.