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POC dangles Clark as camp site

CAPAS, Tarlac — European countries and even from other Western nations can use the facilities of the world-class New Clark City Aquatics Center for training during wintertime, something that can give the Philippines a chance to train alongside the powerhouse swimmers.

The Philippine Olympic Committee said on Wednesday that Filipino swimmers can also take advantage of their visit by holding a joint training camp with the powerhouse swimmers from the Western world.

POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said he is coordinating with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority on the possibility of inviting them starting November until February during the height of winter.

“They can train here while it’s cold in their countries because we have a world-class aquatic center here,” Tolentino said.

“I’m lobbying the idea of having the Philippine team train with the Europeans in our meetings. I need a good presentation from the BCDA on what the package will be for the training camp.”

This is not the first time the NCC Aquatics Center served as training camps for foreign teams.

Last year, the Israel national swimming team was in the country to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics and one of its coaches, Luka Gabrillo, eventually helped out Kayla Sanchez.

It was also the site of the swimming competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019 where the Philippines won one gold medal, six silver medals and nine bronze medals.

Incidentally, the Philippines will host the 11th Asian Age Group Swimming Championships in November 2023 with the Aquatics Center as site.

“We still have to look for countries that we are close to who are open to the idea. That’s the first thing we need to do,” Tolentino said.

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