Philippine Sports Commission chairman Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala said having more women compete in combat sports will always be welcome during the opening of the eighth 8th Women’s Martial Arts Festival at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Saturday.
Eala said he is ecstatic about seeing a lot more female athletes in combat sports, citing the recent successes they enjoyed overseas.
Recently, Kimberly Anne Custodio and Meggie Ochoa brought home two gold medals at the 2022 JJIF Jiu-Jitsu World Championship in the United Arab Emirates.
“They are only a few of our 565 female athletes in the national team out of 1,452 athletes. And I will not be surprised if one day, the number of women in sports in our national teams will be equal to the number of men in our national teams.”
“It is not only part of our grassroots program, it is part of our high-performance program. And it is also part of the objective of the commissions not only the youth but in particular young girls to get involved in sports.”
Pencak silat, karate, jiujitsu, muay thai, kickboxing, karate and arnis (demo), and kurash, jiu-jitsu, and judo (demo) are the featured competitions in the festival from 12 to 17 November at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
PSC commissioner and bowling legend Olivia “Bong” Coo said this will be a good avenue for the female players to get some exposure for the 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games next year.
“This Martial Arts Festival is held with the goal of helping our national sports associations and national athletes prepare for the 6th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games that will be held on 17 November 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand, exactly 365 days from the end of our competition,” Coo said.
“This will also be a part of the talent search that will showcase the different martial arts sports where women can excel and bring honors to the country.”