MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) plans to classify local athletes according to priority with the influx of more sports and athletes seeking financial help from the government.
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said the classification will help them craft policies on how to financially support the athletes.
"There are now 64 sports that ask financial help from the PSC. We have to classify these sports and set down clear-cut policies on how to support them,’’ said Ramirez.
On top of the list are athletes who possess the potential to compete in the Olympics and those who have made their mark in the global sporting scene.
Included in these “Sports 1 athletes” are promising athletes and teams bound for world championships and high-level tournaments like the national women’s baseball squad and junior tennis ace Alex Eala, who ranks ninth overall in the ITF junior world rankings.
Also listed as Sports 1 athletes are Olympic qualifiers gymnast Carlos Yulo and pole vaulter EJ Obiena, Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, among others.
These athletes will get a support team of coaches, nutritionist, psychologist, physiologist and masseur to be paid for by the PSC.
Sports 2 are performing and non-performing athletes from Olympic sports, while Asian and Southeast Asian sports are grouped together in Sports 3.
“We have to strengthen the direction of the PSC. If we don’t set strong policies, we will encounter problems in the long run,’’ said Ramirez.
Those in Sports 4 are new disciplines whose athletes don’t see action in the Olympics and rarely played both in the Asian Games and SEA Games.
Meanwhile, Filipino athletes and coaches whose efforts helped the Philippines cop the overall title in the recent SEA Games will receive an additional cash bonus of P25,000 each in time for the PSC’s 30th anniversary.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.