THE UAAP is not discounting the possibility of weightlifting to be included in the league’s loaded calendar of events, which Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz is pushing.
“Napag-usapan na matagal-tagal na. We are very much open. In fact, from the league’s standpoint, it is actually relatively easier. Of course, there will be expense. Everything, it will entail organization,” said executive director Rebo Saguisag during yesterday’s “UAAP Talk” Facebook show.
“From our point of view, madali iyan. But the only challenge I think, I believe…the challenge is from the member-schools now to open a new team and maintain those teams,” he added.
The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the league to cancel the second semester of Season 82 last year and the entire Season 83, while keeping the staging of Season 84 hanging in the balance, poses a major obstacle for the schools to sustain its sports programs.
Currently the UAAP has 16 sports disciplines and two special events – cheerdance and streetdance – in its roster.
Boxing, another medal source during the Philippines’ highly-successful Tokyo Games campaign, was a part of UAAP calendar in the league’s formative years before it was discontinued.
Saguisag said that the league is also considering boxing to be part of its calendar in the future.
“These sports are really worth revisiting. At least yung mga Olympic events should really have a place in the UAAP. Because ang isang principle namin is to support our national sports program.
We are definitely very much open to that,” said Saguisag.
During her guesting in the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, Diaz is hoping that the country’s collegiate athletic leagues, including the UAAP, will include weightlifting and boxing to inspire young student-athletes.
“Sana makita po natin na ‘yung mga medalist ngayon ay sa boxing at weightlifting,” Diaz said.