The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has given its all-out support to athletes seeking to qualify for this year’s Paris Paralympic Games.
Commissioner Walter Torres said the PSC has allocated funds for qualifying tournaments for the Paralympics scheduled Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.
“The PSC is in full support for our Para athletes. Just like our abled athletes, nakasubaybay tayo sa kanila para masiguro na makukuha nila ang lahat ng kanilang kailangan (we are monitoring them to ensure that they get all their needs), from training uniform, allowances, training and participation abroad, particularly the scheduled qualifying meets for the Paris Games,” Torres said during the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports, Inc. (TOPS) “Usapang Sports” forum at Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Malate, Manila on Thursday.
Torres, a former national fencer, is optimistic that those who would qualify for Paris have a good chance to win medals.
“Considering our athletes performances in the ASEAN Para Games and Asian Para Games in the past years, we have a good chance to win medals in Paris,” Torres, whose office is in charge of the national para athletes, said.
“ASEAN Para Games multi-medalist swimmers Angel Otom and Ernie Gawilan are almost there. They only need to maintain their respective rankings inside the top 10. They still have qualifying meets to join,” he added.
Gawilan and fellow swimmer Gary Bejino, wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan, discus thrower Jeannette Aceveda, taekwondo’s Allain Ganapin, and powerlifter Achelle Guion represented the Philippines at the 2020+1 Tokyo Paralympics.
Torres, who served as Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled vice president prior to his appointment as commissioner, said the PSC is organizing a national tournament similar to the Philippine Youth Games and Philippine National Games.
“We need continuity and to strengthen our grassroots program not only for our abled athletes but also for para athletes. Although we have yet to achieve the ideal framework for para sports, there are some national sports associations which are including para sports in their programs and activities which is good for the athletes,” he said. (PNA)