The PSC, POC and Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) agreed to build a new training center for Philippines Athletes. The complex would nestle on 50 Hectares of Land in Clarkfield, Pampanga.The proposal to build a new training center for Philippine athletes has been on hold for the past few years but top sports officials have already identified an ideal site for the new structure set to replace the outdated Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, which has housed athletes for more than five decades.
But in a recent House of Representatives Committee on Youth and Sports Development, officials from the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee said that they have made an ocular inspection of a site in Clark, Pampanga that could hold not only a training center but also a state-of-the-art venue for hosting international sporting events like the Asian Games.
PSC chair Ritchie Garcia, who was in attendance alongside POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, POC vice president and former Gintong Alay executive Joey Romasanta and POC executive Julian Camacho, said that the new center could be up and running in one year if certain things can be fast-tracked.
“Me, Cong. Peping and other officials went to Clark for the ocular inspection. There’s a shooting range where the area is located and about 50 hectares and it’s near the airport,” Garcia said.
“This area is beside the Dizon calamansi farm and (that’s) going to expire on 2016, so there’s a better possibility of expansion. It’s under CIAC (Clark International Airport Corporation) and headed by Dino Tanjuatco. They sent us already the draft of the agreement,” he added.
“If we can fast-track the signing and also fast-track the sale of Rizal Memorial, I guess we can have the training center in less than a year,”
Cojuangco added that stadiums can be built for the hosting of sporting events, especially for the sports that have big followings in the country.
“The plan that we’re trying to come up with, it will be a training center, but in case we need a place to host a particular event, that particular structure can be converted into a stadium,” he said.
“That’s why we’re looking for another five or 10 hectare in that place so we can put some of the bigger, attractive sports into those areas, so if we’re gonna be hosting, let’s say an Asian Games, something like that, we will have three areas where we can host it.”
Yeng Guiao, Representative of the 1st District of Pampanga, presided over the hearing and said that the upgrade was badly-needed.
“I’m interested in the sports center not just because it’s in my district but it’s in real need of the athletes,” Guiao told the officials.
“The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is just too outdated and I know other countries have state of the art facilities for their athletes and it’s probably one of the things that has causing us a problem – the venues for training of our athletes.”
Guiao, who continues his close involvement in sports as the coach of the Rain or Shine team in the PBA, said he was in full support of the plans and banked on the backing of the committee’s chair, Davao Del Norte 1st District Rep. Anthony Del Rosario, for the project.
“In that aspect, you can count on my support. I’m sure our chairman will support the construction of our new facilities in terms of upgrading it.”
by: Rey Joble, InterAksyon.com · Sunday, October 26, 2014 ·