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All Eyes on Booming Clark

By PAOLA NAVARETTE
Photos by NOEL PABALATE

The dream of building a new sports training center of global standards, taken for granted and shelved by past governments, finally became a reality. After 18 months of construction, the New Clark City Sports Hub is all set for the staging of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

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Envisioned to be a training hub of national athletes, the 40-hectare sports complex features the 2,000-seater Aquatic Center, the 20,000-seater Athletics Stadium, an Athlete Village complete with housing amenities, and a 1.4-kilometer River Park Corridor that will provide recreational spaces for residents.

“It was conceptualized during the previous administration and, as a testament to the kind of leader President Duterte is, we saw this project as something that was going to change how we build and develop cities,” Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) chief Vince Dizon said, adding that the facilities in the New Clark City were the first major sports hub constructed by the government since the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, which was built in 1934, more than eight decades ago.

Inspired by all things native to the Philippines, the facilities were designed and built to show the resiliency of the Filipino spirit. After SEA Games, these will be used by Filipino athletes for training and will serve as venues for concerts, events, and other sports activities.

Athletic Stadium

Featuring a world-class 400-meter standard track, Athletics Stadium takes inspiration from the crater of Mount Pinatubo, represented by the charcoal-gray roof. The chairs are an image of pixelated lava, while the graphite roof is the rim of the caldera and the columns are inspired by the festive details of the Christmas lanterns of Pampanga. Along with the nine-lane standard track, it has 20,000 seats and indoor and outdoor warm-up tracks. It was also certified as a class one facility by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

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Aquatics Center

The Aquatic Center was designed to show the coastal heritage of Filipino people, with windows made of capiz shells and structural framing, which mimics the weaving patterns of baklad or woven fish nets of local fishermen. Aside from the 10-lane competition pool, it has 2,000 seats, an eight-lane competition pool, and a diving pool with a five-meter maximum depth and meets global standards of the Federation Internationale de Natation. It also has an Olympic-size pool similar to what was used during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

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The FINA-certified diving pool at the Aquatics Center

 

Athletes Village
Composed of seven buildings, Athletes Village will serve as home of the athletes, officials, and international volunteers for the entire duration of SEA Games. It has 525 rooms, 95 of which are for persons with disabilities. Each floor also has a library, gym amenities, and conference rooms. Plus, there is the kitchen and dining area, as well as a swimming pool, a basketball court, and deck gardens.

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Athletes’ Village building

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A room inside Athletes Village

National River Park Corridor
At the core of the development is the River Park Corridor, a recreational and environmental space that currently stretches to 1.4 kilometers. Once finished, it can reach up to nine kilometers along the riverside with bikeways, jogging paths, open  amphitheaters, where people can relax and appreciate the natural beauty of New Clark City. Its development follows the natural flow of the Cutcut river as advised by the Asian Development Bank in order to protect and preserve the river.

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The gym at the Aquatics Center



Source: Manila Bulletin

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