"The Philippine dream of an Olympic gold seems so distant especially if our national sports agencies continue to be in disarray."
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) are once again at odds for the nth time. Yet again, money is at the center of it.
Recently, the country's bid to host the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games has been put in serious peril following budgetary considerations. The PSC intends to reallocate resources intended for the biennial sporting event instead to support rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts in Marawi. On the other hand, the POC insists on pursuing the country's hosting of the 2019 SEA games by tapping into the generosity of the private sector.
Recall that it was also not long ago that these agencies exchanged barbs over allegations of corruption by PSC against POC. Despite an abundance of monetary support coming from various private organizations, these national sports agencies are ironically complaining about funding.
Politicking has always been at the center of why Philippine Sports is in such a terrible state. Just recently, the world's No. 2-ranked Chess player Wesley So stopped representing the Philippines in international competitions. This is following the said sports agencies' refusal to provide So any financial support and the guaranteed pot money for winning gold in the World Universiade Games back in 2013. This all happened as a result of the power struggle in basketball leadership between quarters of the POC and PSC during that time.
Sports is supposed to be a source of pride and entertainment for many Filipinos who have grown sick and tired of news on government corruption. However, it seems that corruption has also found its way into Philippine Sports. Sadly, it continues to get worse as those mainly responsible for the problems in our national sports agencies continue to remain in important seats therein.
Instead of taking pride in our athletes, we instead sympathize with them whenever they perform poorly in international competitions. Instead of finding entertainment in sports, we instead end up getting frustrated seeing our athletes lose badly, knowing they are not getting enough support for their training and other logistical needs.
With the lack of government support for our athletes, do not expect an Olympic Gold, another overall SEA Games overall title, or even a next Manny Pacquiao in the near future.
But this is not the worst of my fears. If our national sports agencies continues to neglect its duty to provide ample assistance and backing to our athletes, they will end up lacking in proper training and in dire need of support for medical assistance. It will not be surprising that permanent injuries and loss of lives may be the next tragedy waiting to happen in Philippine Sports.