Change!


Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

With this quote in mind, three brave men, all coaches, have come forward, and called out for reforms in Philippine Athletics.  One is a national record holder himself, who has contributed to the glory years of Philippine Athletics in the 80s.  Another one is a multi-titled UAAP coach who is a firm believer of continuing education, and another one who has slowly transformed a non-traditional athletics power, into a UAAP title contender.

All three said, “enough is enough”.

All three believed that change is needed to resuscitate the dying sports of athletics in the country.

All three are willing to be the face of change, which many a coach and athlete, never dared to do for the last 20 years.

Below is the Call to Action of the 3 coaches:

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Call On Athletics Advocates

Movement for Reforms for Philippine Track and Field

The undersigned, coaches of good standing, call on their fellow coaches, athletes, officials, and supporters to show determination to address the current problems facing the present sport administration by calling on a consultative assembly to advocate reforming the structure of Philippine track and field. It is a call for institutional reforms – a call to implement founding principles lying dormant over decades.

This movement provides a pivotal moment for all of us to have the courage to declare responsibility for the challenges that, once and for all, need to be met. Our action can be turned into a historical moment of change, an initial step on the road to help improve governance of Athletics in the Philippines.

A Good Move

We acknowledge the intentions of the present leadership to implement changes in sports administration by assigning a head for technical officiating who is a person of solid credibility and who can take on the tasks of the position. More persons of trustworthiness need also to be found to further shore up waning credibility of our sport administration.

We recommend further steps to be taken to facilitate much needed change perceived by many in the Philippine track and field community as a response to a current predicament in athletics administration.

Growing Exasperation

A silent exasperation of many in the track and field community has been aggravated by the conflict between the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). There seems to be little hope of reaching effective agreements at higher political levels.

At the same time many coaches, veterans of a once glorious era in Philippine Athletics, seek the following:

  • An accurate submission of performance records to the PSC and POC as well as to the athletics community;
  • A mass based program focused on the Regional, National and International involving athletic clubs and schools. Strengthen the communication with the regional track and field associations to ensure the development of the sports in their respective areas;
  • Implement proper process and protocol in recruiting athletes for the national team from varsity teams and athletic clubs;
  • A clear athletes, coaches and officials classification system with a thorough appraisal system that provide consistent standards and effective evaluation from the national level to the grassroots.

The Missing Link: Compliance with IAAF Principles

The IAAF Guiding Manual and the PATAFA constitution and by-laws state the need for political exercises when they require athletics organizations to convene in council and elect leaders to direct and guide the National Sports Association (NSA).

We refer that the IAAF Federation Manual offers the main guidelines for the organization and conduct of an IAAF NSA. The central principle of the IAAF’s development philosophy is co-operation between the IAAF, its Member Federations and other partners.

  • Whatever the position, PATAFA is the guardian of IAAF values and the values of sport in general. Moreover, they have a responsibility to set an example and to help others develop sporting values which will benefit athletics and will be with them for the rest of their lives.
  • Sportsmanship and Fair Play apply not only to athletes taking part in a competition but to all others involved in the sport – officials, coaches, and even the NSA office holders. If these or other values associated with athletics are not maintained, interest will eventually decline and the benefits the sport offers would be lost.
  • A leader of an NSA is responsible to ensure that values are maintained in the sport. The example he or she sets will be seen by others and will influence how they act. Coaches and officials of PATAFA have to serve in a more professional manner and abide by the IAAF’s code of ethics.
  • PATAFA is responsible for sanctioning, promoting, expanding, and strengthening athletics in its country. Ultimately, the reason for PATAFA’s existence is to serve the athletes of the Philippines (1) . For example, the PATAFA should be pro-active at gathering the champions of the various athletics meets (i.e. PalarongPambansa, BatangPinoy, UAAP, NCAA, SCUAA etc.) to participate in the National Open. It should also encourage the participation of Fil-Foreign athletes in this event.
  • As there can be only one national governing body for the sport, no organised activity related to athletics should be outside PATAFA’s awareness and control. At present meets and road runs are organized outside of PATAFA control. The nation-wide track and field meet of the Department of Education, for example, is not PATAFA sanctioned at the regional level nor are the annual University Games track and field meet. PATAFA’s lack of authority over such matters should be scrutinized.

What We Advocate

  • Establishing a mass-based organization (i.e. clubs, schools, regional associations) that convenes periodically in an annual congress and which conducts free and fair elections from the regional to the national level.
  • A professional coaching and officiating system that effectively supports athletic development from a grassroots club-based system.
  • Good governance by abiding by the Domestic and International Responsibilities of a National Athletic Federation; Section Three IAAF Member Federation Manual.

Advocacy Points

  1. 1.      Organize a mass-based organization (i.e. clubs, schools, regional associations)and hold free and fair elections  at the regional and national levels

Section Two IAAF Member Federation Manual states that: In general, national federations tend to follow the basic model of the international federations i.e. their Congress is the supreme authority, they are led by an elected council with a president or chairman, and the day-to-day work is carried out by a secretariat led by a general secretary. Voting rights at the Congress may be held by clubs, local associations, individuals or some combination of these.

  • Are there any Athletics Club or Educational Institutions affiliated with PATAFA to be concerned with competition between institutions of their particular type? For example the athletics clubs of educational institutions like the UAAP, NCAA, and SCUAA leagues are not affiliated with PATAFA. If there are any, these organisations should, in turn, often affiliate to the confederation of the NSA which should be convening periodically.
  • There is a need to clarify the participation and role of PATAFA Regional Boards. Are there existing regional records of athletes, regional calendar of activities, or regional member associations? The case should be that the service, promotion, and regulation of athletics are facilitated by associations at a local or provincial level. Generally, each region has its own group of local associations which affiliate to the national association. Local associations have the clubs of their area as members, implement the national federation’s programs and activities in their area, and have their own competition program.
  1. 2.      Establish a  professional coaching and officiating system that efficiently and effectively supports athletic development from a club-based system

In this case we see the need for the establishment of an academe for coaching that will meet the following goals and missions.

  • Build capabilities among coaches to meet the diverse needs of athletes.
  • Build up sporting capabilities by producing and accrediting sports coaches.
  • Provide a pipeline of coaches with specializations for youths, adults and seniors to meet the growing demand from schools, sports clubs, national sports associations and corporations.
  • Create and provide leadership and skills training for coaches that can adapt to the particular situations of athletes, parents, coaches, schools and communities.
  • Provide skills training for coaches at all levels to assist them in being more efficient, productive, resourceful and successful.
  • Develop a certification program that is based on a core curriculum and includes opportunities for advanced levels of learning.
  • Provide the tools for athletes and their coaches to together understand communication styles, develop perspective, honor personal and team values and goals.

Coaches of the academy will range from participation coaches for youth, to high performance coaches for national teams, to soft-skills coaches for corporations. They should be able to gain perspective and skills to create a stronger self-awareness and commitment to their future as coaches.

  1. 3.      Abide by the Domestic and International Responsibilities of a National Athletic Federation; Section Three IAAF Member Federation Manual

1 Governing

  • To be responsible for all aspects of athletics within the boundaries of the country.
  • To promote the sport of athletics and the development of an athletics culture.
  • To provide an appropriate administrative structure and services for the functioning of the federation and the sport.

2 Resources

  • To obtain and manage the financial, human and technical resources required for the functioning of the federation and the sport.
  • To set budgets and maintain financial records.
  • To control expenses.
  • To arrange for an audit of financial statements.

3 Communications

  • To maintain good relations with and provide appropriate information to athletes and other members of the federation.
  • To maintain good relations with governmental, sporting, business and other organisations which have an interest in athletics or may be of assistance to the federation.
  • To maintain good relations with the media in order to ensure positive promotion of the sport and the federation’s activities.

4 Competitions

  • To maintain a national calendar of athletic events.
  • To provide official sanctions for competitions including those organised by other agencies.

5Facilities and equipment

  • To ensure that competition venues and equipment meet technical specifications mandated by national and international rules.
  • To guarantee the accuracy of road courses used for running and walking races.

6Medical and scientific support

  • To plan and co-ordinate the delivery of sports medicine services to athletes.
  • To ensure that a doping control program is implemented in accordance with the rules of the IAAF and relevant national regulations.

Therefore, we, a group of three concerned coaches, call on others:

  • To support and join this call for more advocates and voice out the need for reforms in our present sport governance and reinvigorate the sport of athletics in the Philippines.
  • To urge present leadership of our National Sport Association to support this call for a consultative assembly, and join this advocacy, as a first step to organizing a mass-based institution that will ensure credibility and good governance of athletics in the Philippines.
  • And in another way, as a beginning for this process suggest that the above stated advocacy points are necessary to effect change in athletics in the Philippines by signing –up and registering as concerned individuals and/or organizations.

Signed by:

Renato Unso

Record Holder: 400m hurdles

(1983-present)

Manny Calipes

Varsity Head Coach

University Athletics

Misael Perez

Program Head

University Athletics

Call to Action

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L-R: Coach Mick Perez, Coach Renato Unso, Coach Manny Calipes and Yell “pinoymiler” Carreon

In the next couple of days, Pinoymiler will try to explain the above statement in laymans term.  What’s in it for the young and upcoming athletes and for the coaches as well.

If you want to join the Consultative Assembly, you may email the  following details to pinoymiler@gmail.com:

Name of individual  __________________________________
Organization/Group  __________________________________
Contact number  __________________________________
Email Address  __________________________________
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12 Responses to Change!

  1. taroy_ruby@yahoo.com says:

    count me in….

  2. The PATAFA is lucky for having these 3 brilliant coaches that will really bring good changes on the dying athletics of our country.
    Leave a Reply

    • @christopher: thanks for droppin by. Who is lucky here, actually is the athletics community. The current PATAFA leadership is in position for the last 21 years. And yet, we have barely improved on our SEA ranking – in fact Vietnam has ovetaken us in the last SEA Games. Worse, we have disintegrated in the more important Asian rankings.

    • John says:

      How brilliant it was that we only got 3 golds last sea games.

  3. jojo says:

    complete revamp of the organization, especially the leadership, change of people with integrity , honesty , and with true concern of the sports program . eliminate dishonest people with self vested interest.

    • John says:

      Jojo is right. Unless this is done. Then the current admin will bring a similar outcome in the sea games medal tally in 2013 that they had in 2011, and will even botch up the 2015 campaign.

  4. kara says:

    thanks for this great article! 🙂 we need change and a fresh start in athletics!

    • @kara: the article was essentially written by the 3 coaches. Pinoymiler is just the messenger. If you find this great, please share to your friends in the track community. Regards.

  5. Jerry Cablayan says:

    My best regards to all. Good Luck in your quest for CHANGE !!

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