Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano reiterated Friday the importance of a grassroots sports program to maximize sports’ beneficial impacts on Filipinos.
 
“I’m really hoping na matuto tayo ngayong pandemic na part ng ating kalusugan ‘yan — mental and physical health,” Cayetano said in a statement after the latest episode of his and his allies’ Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program.
  
Coaches, referees, players, and other members of the sports community who were affected by the epidemic were highlighted in the episode, and each received P10,000 in financial assistance via the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program.
 
“You learn teamwork, and sacrifice, and the David-and-Goliath attitude,” Cayetano, who is a known advocate and enthusiast of sports, said.
 
The former speaker said a grassroots program will enable budding athletes to receive formal education and training as early as possible, instead of “[us] all racing to help the athlete only when he or she has become a champion”.
 
“The future Hidilyn Diaz, the future Manny Pacquiaos are all there. Minsan hindi lang napapansin until sikat na sila (It’s just that sometimes we don’t notice them until they’re famous),” he said.
 
The sports community edition of the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa is set to have a second part at it aims to further “inspire” the public and the government to pursue the creation of a grassroots sports program.
 
“I think kung hindi nagka-COVID , d’un na tayo papunta (we’re on our way there) after the SouthEast Asian Games ,” Cayetano said.
  
Cayetano headed the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) in 2019 that led to renewed interest in sports in the country and eventually the passage of the National Academy of Sports law.
 
“‘Pag may kaya ka , you get all the training and equipment. Pero, kung nasa bundok, isla, hindi. So that’s one thing we want to [show],” he said.
 

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