LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The backbone of sustainable sports development program in Pangasinan firms up with the soft launching of the Pangasinan Sports Academy via the reception ceremony of the first batch of athletes and coaches led by Governor Amado ‘Pogi’ I. Espino, III.
“The long wait is over, this is it,” Espino said during the reception ceremony held at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) gym on December 9.
The Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council (PSMDC) has named the initial 171 PSA athletes, who are selected based on their track record and performance in various international, national and regional sporting events.
Elated with the soft opening of the PSA, Espino reiterated to the athletes the importance of discipline as they pursue their trainings in their respective sports inclinations under the PSA.
“You are the first batch. You will be the model. ‘Yung pagiging magaling ay desisyon ninyo. Paglabas ninyo dito sa NRSCC, nasa inyo na ang desisyon kung paano ang inyong diskarte,” Governor Espino said.
The provincial chief executive, who assured the all-out support of the provincial government on his pet sports development project – which was ignited by the previous provincial administration of former Governor and now 5th district Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr. — bared that PSA is instrumental to imbibe among the athletes the sense of being a responsible student, a son/daughter to parents, and a Pangasinense.
Expressing gratitude to the parents and guardians of the athletes for their consent to allow them to undergo training under PSA, Governor Espino stressed on the worthy goal of PSA which is to prepare the athletes for their college education.
Governor Espino said the PSA athletes shall convert excellence is sports as advantage after they finish the training course at the sports academy, which is programmed in line with their respective specializations in high school.
“Pangarap ko na dumating ang panahon na merung mga coaches from universities and colleges na pupunta dito sa NRSCC para panuorin kayo,” he added, hinting on the possible inclusion to the roster of athletes from elite tertiary schools in Manila, who are entitled to free tuition fee, and other benefits of college schooling.
PSA athletes will be fetched from their respective localities every Friday afternoon, and will be travelled back home Sunday afternoon. The athletes will be trained by experts every weekend.
PSA athletes are classified under 14 sporting events, as follows: athletes (20), archery (8), arnis (18), basketball (29), boxing (7), taekwondo (12), chess (10), swimming (10), badminton (8), table tennis (5), lawn tennis (10), karatedo (12), volleyball (12) and sepak takraw (10).
The PSA has allotted 54 slots for coaching staff.
It can be recalled that the PSMDC had conducted series of try-outs for PSA, which was participated in by athletes from all over Pangasinan.
Present during the reception ceremony were : PSMDC Executive Officer Modesto Operania, and some education program supervisors in-charge on sports from schools divisions of Department of Education in Pangasinan.