Fernandez Fernandez: Once a sportsman, always a sportsman.

Once a sportsman, always a sportsman

January 30, 2022 Ed Andaya 476 views

ONCE a sportsman, always a sportsman.

With this on mind, PBA legend-turned- sports official Ramon Fernandez hopes to continue his involvement in sports even after he steps down as commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on June 30.

“May kasabihan nga, once a sportsman, always a sportman. I do not see myself going away. I will still continue helping in the grassroots sports development,” said Fernandez in the “Sports on Air Weekly” podcast last Jan. 28.

“One thing for sure, after June 30, wala na kami sa PSC. We are resigned because we are appointed by President Duterte,” added Fernandez, who also now serves as chef de mission of Team Philippines in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam on May 12-23.

A four-tine PBA MVP and member of the PBA’s “25 Greatest Players”, Fernandez said he is prepared for life after the PSC.

“In fact, I have prepared since the third quarter of 2021. I have reactivated the Ramon S. Fernandez Sports Development Foundation and we set up Atletang Pilipino, a non-stock, non-profit organization aimed at promoting grassroot sports,” Fernandez told the five-man panelists of the newest weekly sports on air program.

“These two groups (Ramon S. Fernandez Sports Development Foundation and Atletang Pilipino) will be working hand-to-hand. The foundation will be the one to look for funds from everythere and Atletang Pilipino will implement the programs in the different region depende sa perang makukuha natin from ourbsupporters worldwide.”

“Pwede natin gawin ito every region. But for now, umpisa muna tayo ng maliit at limited number of sports,” explained the 68-year old sportsman from Cebu.

Fernandez, also known as “El Presidente” during his PBA days, said he is willing to start small.

“Like what I’m always saying, start small. Umpisahan muna natin ito sa mga 10-15 sports. Sa simula, individual Olympic sports muna na may weight categories para kayanin natin sa funding. I’’ll be doing that in my private capacity later on. I’m prepared for that para meron din ako gagawin. Hindi lang puro fishing, golf at farming,” said Fernandez with a smile.

Fernandez, however, rued the fact that Atletang Pilipino, failed to make it to the final list of party lists in the coming May national elections.

“May mga naging technicalities kaya hindi naisama sa darating na election. But maybe sa susunod na election in three years’ time, maaari na,” explained Fernandez, adding Atletang Pilipino’s nominees are his wife Karla Kintanar-Fernandez, who comes from a well-known family of politicians-public servants, and Karate Pilipinas president Richard Lim.