William Ramirez, chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), is batting for more funding to revitalize the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI), a bold ambitious program to develop elite athletes that was suspended due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
“It takes an athlete at least four years in a short-term strategy and a minimum of 12 years in a long-term program to achieve his potential,” Ramirez said.
The country has seen such progress from weightlifter Heidelin Diaz, who went through three Olympic cycles to finally win a silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and finally an Olympic gold at Tokyo last year.
Fully implementing PSI will keep the country on par with sports medicine, science and technology for the benefit of athletes and coaches and accelerate their advancement even through high-performance training in a short span of time.
Ramirez said, “PSI needs adequate funding to update the country’s sports medicine and technology knowledge and maintain our parity with the rest of the world.
PSI National Training Director Mark Edward told Velasco Inquirer that PSC had already purchased the equipment and machinery needed for the sports institute at the Philsports Complex in Pasig City and laid the foundation.
The global epidemic, which began in early 2020, however, shut down PSI’s operations for two years, prompting Velasco to reboot the entire program.
Ramirez brought PSI to light in his first term as PSC chair in 2008, but he was downgraded a year later after he resigned. It was revived in 2016 when Ramirez began his second term.
Sports-rich countries have their own sports institutions where they study, educate and train their athletes and coaches to prepare for the biggest stage of sports like Olympics and World Championships.
Ramirez has patterned the PSI for a successful program at the Australian Institute of Sport, which leads and enables a unified and collaborative high-performance sports system that helps Australian athletes achieve international podium success.
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