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Victory for Filipino athletes: National Academy of Sports signed into law

By KERRY TINGA and JULES VIVAS

Image by NOEL PABALATE

New Clark City Stadium

New Clark City Stadium

It is an honor and privilege for high school athletes to make it to their respective varsity teams. But what happens if the country puts all their best athletes under one roof? Some of our lawmakers believe it will give young Filipino athletes a competitive advantage.

On May 11, the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the establishment of a National Academy of Sports (NAS), which seeks to institutionalize a system designed to take into consideration the educational and training requirements of young athletes at the secondary school level.

According to the Bill, the main campus of the NAS will be established at the existing New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac, giving the students access to the world-class sports facilities in the area. The proposal also provides a mandate for the establishment of future regional high schools for sports to be funded by the national government.

The 50-hectare Clark City Sports Complex was one of the venues during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, where the Philippines broke its own medal count record to emerge as the overall champion in the medal tally.

The development of NAS could be seen as the natural next step for the Philippines, which has proved in recent history ready for systematic investment in its youth and athletics as a form of nation-building. It is important that any next steps remember to keep that primary purpose in mind.

Today, June 10, one of the measure’s principal authors, Senator Win Gatchalian, confirms that President Duterte had already signed the bill.

NAS will be attached to the Department of Education, which will be coordinating with the Philippine Sports Commission.

The story is an updated version of the article Will we be seeing a National Academy of Sports soon?, published on May 11, 2020.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/06/10/will-we-be-seeing-a-national-academy-of-sports-soon/)

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