Press Release
November 29, 2016


Senator Richard J. Gordon has underscored the need for a nationwide sports training program in schools so that students can win medals in sports meets while strengthening the strong sense of citizenship among the youth.

Gordon pointed out that in most countries, school sports play an important role in creating a strong sense of citizenship because the students are not only trained to excel in sports but they are also taught the value of competitiveness, participation, cooperation, discipline, training and preparedness, school identification and loyalty to the team and the country.

"There has to be a nationwide program where our young people can be trained by truly qualified and dedicated soccer coaches, truly qualified and dedicated track and field coaches, etc. in high school and college and even in grade school where the student can be truly molded into becoming great athletes and citizens. In most countries, sports play a major role in creating good citizens. Their participation there is far more important than winning a gold medal when they get young people, especially in schools, to know the value of competitiveness, of competition, of being scientific and disciplined in your play, in the way you are trained. We miss out on a lot of that," the senator noted.

"We must have a nationwide program encouraging the schools to attract, challenge and invigorate the students to participate in competitive sports like intramurals. We lack that kind of participation and competitiveness which creates a bigger problem eventually. There is no sense of nation, no sense of school identification, or for that matter, participation and loyalty. Kung hindi natin ituturo iyan sa ibaba, we will be a nation of title-seekers but not a country that is together. Never mind winning medals, what we want to build is citizenship," he added.

Gordon earlier called on the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to allocate funds in the 2017 budget for the implementation of a sports training program in all public schools nationwide. He noted that, unfortunately, only private schools offer opportunities for such training to their students.

"Is there a program in the budget that is set aside for this purpose? Or is it all just like a fiesta. We prepare for the fiesta. Papatayin iyong baka, papatayin iyong kalabaw, pagkatapos ng pista, wala namang nahita. Ni development or trade, wala. And we find out that we spent a lot of money on hoopla, but we do not have anything in terms of strengthening the fiber of the country," the senator asked.

"Are we leaving it just to the private sector? Is there any encouragement that the Sports Commission is doing so that the schools will, at least, come up with something like that so that we will have a program that people can participate in?" he further questioned during the deliberation on the budget of the PSC last week.

Congress is set to conduct a bicameral conference on the proposed 2017 budget after the Senate passed it on third and final reading on Monday.

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