KUALA LUMPUR – “Mahirap bang mahalin ang bayan?”
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez posed this question following criticisms at home over the country’s less than expected performance in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
“I don’t have complaints,” said Ramirez in his message back home. “All athletes who went to SEAG wanted to win and bring honors for our country.”
Filipino athletes ended their SEAG campaign with a haul of 24 golds, 33 silvers and 48 bronzes.
“It’s time to move forward and prescribe better and strategic solutions instead of blaming the past and people,” Ramirez said.
The PSC chief, who decided to stay home, said they are prepared to support national athletes going to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
He said the PSC will identify between 20 and 30 Olympic hopefuls it will support through foreign training and other assistance in the form of providing them psychologists, physiologists, nutritionists, masseurs and sports managers.
Ramirez said if Filipinos truly love their country, “we can put our differences, our interests and set our direction where we are going.”
“We just need to be humble and patient and work together with all stakeholders. I still believe that we can rise together for better sports,” he said.
Ramirez said sports must take the lead in uniting the people.
“We have to be positive as leaders. Appreciate and learn from the past and correct it and set effective and clear sports policy without fear,” he added.
Ramirez reiterated the PSC’s mandate to have a genuine grassroots sports program in collaboration with local government units, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health, the Armed Forces and all tertiary sports leagues.
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