While the organizing committee of the 2019 Philippine Southeast Asian Games is geared toward building new facilities, the Philippine Olympic Committee is also batting for the renovation of existing sports structures for the national athletes’ training.
POC president Peping Cojuangco voiced out his concern on the importance of newly refurbished training facilities to motivate Filipino athletes to perform at their best in time for the country’s hosting two years from now.
Cojuangco mentioned the need to recondition the track and field oval at Teacher’s Camp in Baguio City and some of the structures inside Rizal Memorial Sports Center in Manila.
“We really need to take care of our athletes if we want to reclaim the overall title in the SEA Games,” said Cojuangco after his meeting with the Philippine SEA Games organizing chair and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday night.
Cojuangco will co-chair the organizing committee with Cayetano and Philippine Sports Commission Chair Butch Ramirez.
The Philippines won its first and only overall title when Manila hosted the Games in 2005.
According to POC board member Robert Mananquil, part of the discussion tackled the construction of a stadium at Clark Green City in Pampanga where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games would be held.
Though traveling from Manila to Pampanga could pose a challenge for the organizers, Mananquil is confident Clark can properly handle most of the concerns, including billeting, transportation and logistics.
“There’s an international airport inside Clark aside from several hotels that can accommodate the athletes and officials from the 11 participating countries,” said Mananquil, also the secretary general of the Billiard Sports Confederation of the Philippines.
Mananquil added the proposed stadium at Clark Green City could house a track and field oval and a swimming pool of international standards.
Cayetano is working on the organizational structure of the PH organizing committee, which should be finalized before the SEA Games Federation meeting late this year. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER