(BCDA’s Vince Dizon joins triathletes for a swim. Photo by Joann M. Valenciano)
CAPAS, Tarlac — The need for a national sports academy will soon become a reality and it could be situated in one of the key growth regions in the country.
Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president-CEO Vince Dizon laid out the post-SEA Games plan for the New Clark City (NCC) sports complex during a press conference held Friday for the inaugural of the New Clark City Triathlon 2019.
Dizon said the part of a master plan in creating a new city under President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build Program is to create a new metropolis for the country with facilities that can be used for other purposes.
Stressing that the sports complex was built not only for the 2019 SEA Games and 2020 Paralympic Games, Dizon said the facilities were to kickstart the first phase of a new city they are building from scratch – the New Clark City.
Dizon said the BCDA aimed to make the NCC sports complex as a permanent national training center for the athletes in a better and more conducive environment corresponding with the national training law passed by Congress last year.
Dizon also mentioned that Senators Pia Cayetano, Sonny Angara, and Bong Go and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano have already filed bills seeking to create the National Sports High School for students similar to the Philippine Science High School and the National High School for Culture and the Arts.
The Philippine Sports High School (PSHS) or National Academy of Sports for High School (NASHS) will be geared towards developing high school students for their full potential in sports as athletes while providing them with quality secondary education as full scholars of the country.
During the press conference, Senator Pia Cayetano expressed her long-term vision for the athletes to be housed in and within the premises of the sports facilities they need to be trained in.
“If you have a facility where student-athletes can be students and athletes at the same time, then that’s a winwin solution that they can excel with their craft that is sports without compromising their education,” said Cayetano.
“And with a government that really believes in molding the youth, in giving them a future, then I feel it can really happen,” Cayetano added.
Since governments doesn’t really have a good track record in maintaining such facilities and to ensure that the facilities are well-maintained after the 2019 SEA Games and 2020 Para Games, the NCC sports complex maintenance and its operation will be privatized as part of the plan, Dizon said.
“We feel that the private sector is the most capable to maintain and operate these world class facilities the best way possible and find other uses for them,” he added.