MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino athletes who will compete in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam may soon get the go-signal to resume training.
This, as chef-de-mission Ramon Fernandez is working to get things in order for the resumption of their in-person training, which has been halted for months now because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fernandez, also a commissioner with the Philippine Sports Commission, revealed that he has been discussing the issue with the Philippine Olympic Committee, as Filipino athletes need to start training for the 31st SEA Games.
"As the CDM and a PSC Commissioner, I am as interested as everyone for our teams to resume formal training and we are working on it," said Fernandez.
Some national teams have already resumed their training sessions in a "bubble" at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna. Taekwondo, boxing, and karate athletes have been in the facility since mid-January to prepare for their Olympic qualifying tournaments.
The PSC is now coordinating with other national sports associations (NSAs) that have already proposed their own training arrangements.
"We only have IATF go-signal to resume training for the Olympics as of now," said Philippine Sports Commission National Training Director Marc Velasco.
According to Velasco, all training activities of the national team must be approved by the PSC in close coordination with the POC, since the agency has been tasked by the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 to undertake strict monitoring to ensure that protocols, health safety among them, are followed.
"The training must be in a bubble set-up, especially for contact sports," he said.
"We want to field a competitive team for all scheduled Games, we know how important it is to resume formal training. However we also find ourselves in unique times at the moment and we work on what we can and are allowed to," he explained.