Press Release
May 10, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today urged the government to fast-track the development of an international-caliber athletic training institute in the Philippines, during his sponsorship speech for the Philippine High School for Sports (PHSS) bill.

"Filipino athletes are not lacking in talent or skill. They can easily develop agility and speed, and show admirable endurance and tenacity. However, without appropriate training and support, raw talent can only go so far," he said.

Angara lamented the Philippines' mediocre performance in the previous Olympic games, which he says is a result of the lack of proper training facilities and athletic support in the country.

"Our country has netted 9 medals in 20 Olympic games since we started participating in 192--in fact, the Philippines was the first Southeast Asian country to join and medal but we have yet to win our first gold," he said.

According to Angara, we as a country must "acknowledge the fact that we are not as competitive in the international sporting arena as we would like to be", and use this knowledge to revive our nation's athletics programs.

In his speech, Angara explained how the government can achieve this through effective policymaking.

"First, we have to develop a broad base of talent by instilling interest and aptitude in sports, especially among the youth. Then, we should identify the most promising and talented athletes and put them up for elite training," he said.

This kind of specialized training, he explained, can only be provided by an institution specifically created for sports development and education, similar to those in other countries.

"Olympic heavyweights such as Russia, Australia, Germany, China and Canada all have sport schools which mold all of their world-class athletes. Even our neighbors in Southeast Asia have followed suit, including Singapore, Malaysia, India and Thailand," he said.

These athletics academies have significantly boosted these countries' rankings in various sporting tournaments throughout the world. Hence, establishing our very own PHSS "would not just develop world-class athletes but would also encourage the Filipino youth to excel in both sports and education".

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