A healthy balance of providing grassroots development a major push and ensuring the sustained support of elite athletes will form the backbone of the new Philippine Sports Commission leadership.
Newly-appointed PSC chairperson Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala yesterday called on the sports community to join hands to guarantee the continued success of Filipino athletes.
Eala stressed this out during his first flag raising ceremony on Monday, just days after receiving the formal directive from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to assume office.
“All told, the goal is to get everybody into sports while ensuring that our elite athletes are provided with all they need to be successful. And for this I will need the support of all of you,” Eala said in the presence of former chairperson William ‘Butch’ Ramirez, newly-appointed commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo, and executive director Guillermo Iroy.
“Like a dragonboat team, we have to paddle together, in cadence to the beat of the drum and with a single purpose and direction. Like the old saying goes: I will not demand your respect. I will earn it with my passion, energy, integrity and commitment to work,” Eala said during yesterday’s weekly affair that also served as a formal turnover.
“What I will demand though is that you give me your trust as the President did, and follow my lead. There will be many challenges along the way. And I do not promise that I have the answers to every question that we may be confronted with. But what I promise you is that I will do all in my power to find the answers and solutions to make the PSC strong, proactive and vibrant.”
Eala was appointed by Malacañang last month after Ramirez’s term ended 30 June.
During his watch, Ramirez’s PSC saw the meteoric rise of weigtlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who captured the country’s first Olympic gold in Tokyo.
Other highlights of Ramirez’s second stint as chairperson was the discovery of gymnast Carlos Yulo, who has been reaping medals since the past few years.
Of course, not to be outdone was the emergence of EJ Obiena, who has made tremendous strides in the powerhouse field of pole vault.
Fully aware of the amazing feats pulled off by these fine Filipino sports heroes, Eala is taking a page from Project: Gintong Alay in the pursuit of more honors and accolades.
It was Gintong Alay that produced the late Lydia de Vega and a bevy of stars during the 1980s and onwards into the 1990s.
Eala admits the accomplishments of the previous leadership should be lauded and sustained.
“We have made great strides in the last few years in Philippine sports. And for this we have to thank the past PSC board led by a true sportsman and dedicated public servant, the indefatigable chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.”
“His hard work and commitment to duty is a glowing example of public service that all of us must never forget and must follow. I am a firm believer of continuity of programs particularly of those that have been gainful and progressive. We will build upon the foundations already laid out for us,” Eala said.
“From the Batang Pinoy to the Philippine National Games, we will look for ways to improve and make more responsive these programs to ensure their sustainability in the long term.”
“It is my plan to make full use of the provisions of RA 6847 and other related laws to ensure that we are able to carry out our mandates for our short, medium and long term plans.”
Ramirez backs up his successor, saying that everybody has to work hand-in-hand for Philippine sports to continue thriving.
“Chairman Noli Eala needs our help, our support. For if he succeeds, the PSC and Philippine sports will succeed,” Ramirez said.
Indeed, things look rosy for Philippine sports.