POC  OKAYS  PSC  REVAMP  OF  NATIONAL  POOL  OF  ATHLETES

MANILA, AUGUST 28, 2009
(PHILIPPINE STAR)  By Abac Cordero - The Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission are on the same page regarding the planned revamp of the national pool of athletes.

Chairman Harry Angping of the PSC the other day reiterated his plan to dissolve the pool of athletes, numbering close to a thousand, right after the Laos SEA Games in December.

Angping said this will give sports officials the chance to rid the pool of aging, fading or non-performing athletes and coaches and replace them with a younger batch of talents.

The PSC spends close to P15 million a month, P180 million a year or P540 million for three years on allowances and salaries of the athletes and coaches.

Jose Cojuangco Jr., in his weekly radio program “Usapang POC,” yesterday welcomed the idea of overhauling the pool but stressed that it should be a collaboration among the POC, PSC and the different national sports associations.

“I agree with that,” said Cojuangco who’s had differences in opinion with Angping on many issues. But at least on this one, the country’s top two sports leaders have found something to work on.

“But it should be in close coordination with the POC and the NSAs. We’re supposed to be one family. So how could you operate if there are two groups heading opposite directions?” added Cojuangco.

Cojuangco, in his fifth year as POC president, wanted to make sure that the POC and the PSC, the government’s funding arm in sports, are on the same page.

“We must coordinate. There should be coordination. And all the NSAs must know what’s happening. You cannot rush programs like this,” added the POC chief.

Cojuangco also said the POC is expecting from the different NSAs today the list of athletes who will be sent to the Laos SEA Games from Dec. 9 to 18.

The POC is looking at 150 to 200 athletes to send to Laos based on the criteria that calls for gold and silver medalists in 2007 in Thailand to be included in the team.

The Philippines sent close to 600 athletes to Thailand and went home with 42 gold, 91 silver and 96 bronze medals in 43 sports disciplines, which have been reduced to 25 this year.

The PSC had previously insisted that only the deserving athletes should go, and winning a silver two years ago should not merit automatic inclusion this year.

But it seems that the PSC has now agreed on the gold-silver criteria.

“I heard that it was already approved by the (PSC) board,” Cojuangco said. “The silver medalists should also be sent because we know that in the last Southeast Asian Games, among the 91 silver medals, most of them came in subjective sports. Some of them were actually cheated.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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