Last December 18th, Philippine Daily Inquirer came up with an article which shouts Major Athletics revamp: veterans on chop block. The article talks about the plans of PATAFA President, Go Teng Kok, to revive Philippine Athletics by asking the veteran athletes, included in the Philippine Team, to retire so that their slots can be given to young and upcoming athletes.
I don’t subscribed to this point of view.
By doing this, we are just prolonging the agony. The process will be repeated again. A handful of stars will dominate Philippine athletics for the next decade. Breaking records and winning SEA Games medals along the way. Instead of changing the way we do things and have the chance to do a genuine grass root mass development program, engaging thousands of athletes even beyond their college playing days, thereby improving the performance level of the sports, and be more competitive in the Asian or even global level.
Sounds easier said than done, but now is the best time to think outside of the box, start looking outside our own playing ground and ask around for best practices of the other countries. We will not lose anything by asking and studying what they are doing.
Why limit the sports’ development by maintaining limited slots for the national team, where in fact you can open the gates to everybody? Why do we have to ask the government to shoulder the development of sports?
My unsolicited advise to Senor Go, form a Steering Committee Team that will propose the changes that the PATAFA needs in order to be competitive not just in the SEA level, but in the global level. We have to aim high to achieve high. The members of this Team should be currently unattached to the PATAFA in order for them to give an objective assessment of the current state of the sports, and the changes that should be implemented.
Mr Go, this may be the lasting Legacy that may put your name as legend of Philippine Sports.
It’s not the army, it’s the process that picks and nurtures the army.