POC seeks private sector help for YOG

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 25 2014 03:51 PM | Updated as of Feb 25 2014 11:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco said friends from the private sector will provide the needed support for the country’s representatives to the second Youth Olympic Games this August.

“If we rely only on the budget from the Philippine Sports Commission it’s not enough. Hindi aabot,” said Cojuangco, who will spearhead the country’s campaign in the YOG set Aug. 16 to 28 in Nanjing, China.

In the 2010 YOG in Singapore, the Philippines fielded only nine athletes and failed to win a medal. But with the country’s good performance in the 2013 Asian Youth Games, also in Nanjing, there’s hope in the YOG.

Cojuangco also said they want to double the size of the delegation. Two archers have already qualified for the YOG, and more from at least nine other sports are hoping to get to Nanjing.

Once the athletes make it, the POC president said he will tap friends from the private sector to take care of their needs – from local and foreign training to equipment and coaching expenses.

“The Youth Olympic Games is a bigger affair,” said Cojuangco as he compared the coming event to the Southeast Asian Games or even perhaps the Asian Games.

The Youth Olympic Games will draw the best and finest youth athletes from all over the world.

“And already we have candidates. We can pull it off here,” said Cojuangco, who has designated Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation president Jonne Go as chef-de-mission of the Philippine team to the YOG.

“We will prepare our athletes and I will approach my friends from the private sector. Paaalagaan ko na sila. I’ve talked to certain people already and they are willing to help,” said Cojuangco.

Tom Carrasco, POC chairman, identified the other sports that have chances of sending athletes to the YOG, led by golf, taekwondo, boxing, 3-on-3 basketball, athletics, gymnastics, fencing, swimming, triathlon, shooting and BMX.

“We can have as many as six from taekwondo and four from boxing,” he said.

In last year’s Asian Youth Games, golfer Mia Legaspi and taekwondo jin Pauline Louise Lopez won the gold while Princess Superal of golf, Francis Aaron Agojo of taekwondo and Jurence Mendoza of tennis delivered the silvers.

“We want more chances in the Youth Olympic Games,” said Carrasco.