SAMBO Pilipinas is also stepping up to bat in the battle against HB 1526, or the “Act Banning Minors from Full-Contact Competitive sports.”
Sambo Pilipinas secretary-general Paolo Tancontian said the proposed bill will not help in the growth of local sports and will only hinder in the discovery of more young and talented athletes.
Speaking during the 23rd “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippne Sports (TOPS) last Dec. 10, Tancontian expressed solidarity with other major stakeholders in martial arts and combat sports in opposing the bill.
“Sambo Pilipinas joins our friends in the martial arts sports community in opposing this bill to ban minors in full-contact sports,” Tancontian told editors, reporters, columnists and photographers during the weekly public sevrice program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Boarda dports (GAB).
“Sa Sambo Pilipinas, naniniwala kami na malaki ang tulong sa mga atleta ng maagang exposure sa sports,” explained Tancontian, who joined the session from his home in Davao City.
“Our focus is to develop young athletes and turn them into better individuals. That’s why we train them early. Hindi naman natin gusto na masira yun mga batang players,” he added.
Tancontian claimed sambo has a lot of benefits to athletes, especially the youth.
“Training will not only help you become or stay physically fit. It will also help our kids na maging mentally strong. You’ll improve your reaction time and decision making skills na magagamit ng mga bata sa kanilang daily life,” he said.
He also said his two children — Chino and Sydney — also benefitted for taking up sports at a very young age since they are now enjoying university scholarships.
His son, Chino, has already won the gold medal in men’s sambo in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, while daughter Sydney also won several bronze medals in the sport.
While he fully agree with the intention of the lawmakers to protect the minors from any untoward incident that may arise during the competitions, Tancontian claimed national sports associations under the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have the knowledge and expertise to safeguard the athletes.
“Sa tingin ko, ang kailangan gawin ay mas lalo natin palakasin ang training ng ating mga coaches at officials para matiyak ang proteksyon ng mga atleta sa bawat kumpetisyon,” said Tancontian.
“Gaya na ng naunang sinabi ng mga kasama ko ngayon, may sapat na kaalaman ang aming mga officials para matiyak ang seguridad ng mga kalahok, lalo na ang mga kabataan.”
Joining Tancontian in the TOPS forum were six other NSA officials opposing the bill — Alvin Aguilar (wrestling), David Carter (judo), Richard Lim (karate), Pearl Anne Managuelod (muaythai), and Atty.Wharton Chan (kickboxing).
Tancoantian’s daughter Sydney, echoed the same sentiment.
“I also strongly oppose the proposed House bill because as a product of grassroots program myself, malaki ang impact sa childhood development ko,” said the 20-year-old Sydney in a separate interview with Marianne Saberon-Abalayan of Sun Star Davao.
“Madaming maaapektuhan na student-athletes kapag itinuloy nila yun batas,” explained Sydney, who started playing judo with her father at the age of seven.
She is now a judo varsity scholar at the University of Santo Tomas.
Earlier, PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez called for revisions on the planned bill being pushed by AKO Bicol party-list Reps. Alfredo Garbin and Elizaldy Co.
“I think it’s a good bill. It’s a wake-up call for all sports leaders, officials and stakeholders to re-think their program of activities for young athletes. Iisa lang naman ang pakay natin na mai-angat ang sports at matiyak ang seguridad ng ating mga atleta,” said Ramirez
“Kailangan lang siguro itong amyendahan para maging katangap-tangap sa lahat,” added Ramirez