Diaz Diaz: Pride of the Philippines.

SWP to focus on homegrown talents for SEA Games

June 20, 2021 Ed Andaya 1168 views

EVEN before the Tokyo Olympics next month, the Samahang Weightlifting ng Piilipinas (SWP) has decided to tap only homegrown talents for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in November and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September, 2022.

SWP president Monico Puentevella believes the country is blessed with so many word-class talents, like Tokyo Olympics-bound Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando, that he would rather go to far-flung provinces to discover them instead of simply tapping foreign-based athletes.

“With all due respect to the other NSAs (national sports associations) — hindi ko kayo pinatatamaan — pero sa amin sa weightlifting, Pinoy talaga. Galing Zamboanga, Bohol at Cebu. Masarap pakinggan,” said Puentevella during the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Thursday.

“As long as I am the (weightlifting) president, puro homegrown kami. Hindi sila yung mga atleta na kukunin mo doon sa Idaho, kukunin mo sa Washington at iba pang US states,”added Puentevella during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

“Actually, may tryout kami sa SEA Games sa Bacolod this September. Nandun yun lahat ng magagaling natin, like Vanessa Sarno and Rosegie Ramos,” added Puentevella.

“Then after the SEA Games, we’ll host the Asian Junior and Youth Championships at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex this January. The Asian Weightlifting Federation has given me the hosting right. Actually, December sana gusto nila, pero sinabi ko January kasi puno tayo sa Christmas. The best in Asian junior, makikita nyo lahat. Dito ko pa lang in-announce ito sa inyo sa TOPS.”

While he respects the bubble training program now being used by different NSAs and supported by the PSC, Puentevella prefers to do it the SWP way.

“Hindi ako pumapasok sa training bubbles na ginagawa nila ngayon . Sa SWP, ang ginawa ko ay humingi ako ng barbel sa PSC at lahat ng barbel na available ay ipinadala namin sa sa probinsya.

Meron sa Cebu, sa Bohol, sa Zamboanga. Nandoon din ang mga national coaches ko kasama ang mga parents ng atleta,” explained Puentevella.

“Instead of this bubble-bubble, I’m going to Cebu, may gym kami doon. Sa Bohol at Zamboanga, meron din. Sa Bacolod, we’re putting up a new weightlifting gym with the help of Gov. Lacson of Negros Occidental. Nagbukas na rin sa Ormoc. Even my mayors here in Negros Occidental, they want to buy barbels and other equipment to discover new talents.”.

A three-time lawmaker from Bacolod City, Puentevella appealed for more support for international exposure of individual sports.

“For me, there is no substitute for international exposure. Kung may pera naman ang gobyerno, pagbigyan natin yun mga individual sports, yung talagang may pag-asa sa Olympics,” said Puentevella.

“Mahal natin lahat ang basketball. Ako basketball player din dati, pero tulungan din natin yun ibang individual sports, like archery, swimming at taekwondo.”

“I’m also very proud to say na pati na sa mga drug or doping violation na kinakaharap ngayon ng ibang bansa, wala kaming problema,” added Puentevella.

AUTHOR PROFILE