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Cayetano reiterates need for a grassroots sports program

“The future Hidilyn Diaz, the future Manny Pacquiaos are all there"

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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday reiterated the need for a grassroots sports program to maximize the positive effects of sports in Filipinos.

I’m really hoping na matuto tayo ngayong pandemic na part ng ating kalusugan ‘yan — mental and physical health,” Cayetano said during  the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program on September 3, 2021.

(I’m really hoping that we would learn from this pandemic that sports is part of our health — mental and physical health.)

The episode featured pandemic-hit coaches, referees, athletes, and other members of the sports community who each received P10,000 in cash aid under the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa program.

“You learn teamwork, and sacrifice, and the David-and-Goliath attitude,” Cayetano, who is a known advocate and enthusiast of sports, said.

The former Speaker said a grassroots program will enable budding athletes to receive formal education and training as early as possible, instead of “[us] all racing to help the athlete only when he or she has become a champion.”

“The future Hidilyn Diaz, the future Manny Pacquiaos are all there. Minsan hindi lang napapansin until sikat na sila (It’s just that sometimes we don’t notice them until they’re famous),” he said.

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano during the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program on September 3, 2021.
Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano during the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program on September 3, 2021.

The sports community edition of the Sampung Libong Pag-Asa is set to have a second part at it aims to further “inspire” the public and the government to pursue the creation of a grassroots sports program.

“I think kung hindi nagka-COVID , d’un na tayo papunta (we’re on our way there) after the SouthEast Asian Games ,” Cayetano said.

(I think if COVID-19 hadn’t happened, we would have been on our way there after the Southeast Asian Games.)

Cayetano headed the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) in 2019 that led to renewed interest in sports in the country and eventually the passage of the National Academy of Sports law.

“’Pag may kaya ka , you get all the training and equipment. Pero, kung nasa bundok, isla, hindi. So that’s one thing we want to [show],” he said.

(If you come from a well-off family, you get all the training and equipment. But if you live in the mountains or a far-away island, you don’t. So that’s one thing we want to [show].)###

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