MANILA As the opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) draws near, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on Monday called for the revival of Project Gintong Alay to increase the competitiveness of Filipino athletes in international competitions.
Romualdez urged the government and private sectors, as well as corporate sports patrons, to join together in helping local athletes realize their full potentials in bringing glory to the country.
Romualdez noted that under Project Gintong Alay, the corporations adopt athletes from their chosen sporting disciplines to nurture them into world-class competitors.
He said the country's top 1,500 corporations may be invited to join in the effort of producing future champions.
If the country is to create sports superstars and excel in international sporting competitions like the Olympics, Asian and SEA Games, it must re-dedicate itself to the proven concept of the private and public sectors joining hands to spur sports development from the grassroots to the national and international levels, Romualdez said.
Romualdez said the project was successful because corporate sponsors provided athletes with sufficient allowances that allowed them to train full-time knowing their families would have food on the table.
The corporate sponsors also took care of the nutritional needs of their adopted athletes and provided them the funds for exposure in international sporting competitions.
The congressman cited famous athletes under the Project Gintong Alay, such as then track and field superstars Lydia de Vega, known as Asia's Sprint Queen; Elma Muros, and two-time Olympian Isidro del Prado and swimmer champion Eric Buhain.
We have to focus on winning competitions, notably the Asian and SEA Games and the Olympics. In sports competitions, champions are made and not miraculously born, he said.
Athletic prowess has been a source of pride and morale, and a tool in nation-building in many countries because it mirrors a healthy citizenry, he added.
The House leader also wished the best of luck to the Filipino athletes and coaches competing in the SEA Games, which the country would be hosting from November 30 to December 11.
Good luck to all our athletes and coaches competing in the SEA Games. As long as we work hard, nothing can prevent the Team Philippines from becoming champion. Fight hard, play fair and win big, Romualdez added. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency