Sunday, January 22, 2017

MISSION POSSIBLE

Phil. Daily Inquirer
by June Navarro
Jan. 22, 2017 issue

“Our ultimate goal is to have a sustainable GRASSROOTS program to fuel our elite program. This will be the biggest purpose that the PSI will serve.”...

With Velasco at the helm, the PSI will have a three-pronged strategy beginning with grassroots sports DEVELOPMENT and the IDENTIFICATION of talented athletes. The second phase focuses on the high-performance TRAINING of elite athletes using a scientific approach, just like what the world’s sports superpowers have been doing...

Complementing these two structural programs is sports EDUCATION in which the institute will create an academy for scientific research and the education of the athletes in cooperation with the local government units and the Department of Education...

The PSI has forged links with regional training centers in Davao del Norte, Pagadian City, Tacloban, CEBU CITY, Ilocos Norte, Naga City, Legazpi City and Pili, Albay. A team of 15 monitors along with 60 coordinators will be sent across the country to provide technical support to the LGUs, which are at the forefront of discovering athletic talents...

Velasco’s reputation precedes him in the realm of sports science. He was pirated from the PCSM by the Hong Kong Institute of Sports in 2008 to handle the strength and conditioning programs of its teams in swimming, bowling, cycling, athletics and the differently abled. He spent his last 10 months there as the training supervisor of the HK rugby squad, Asia’s second best after Japan.

Lee, Hong Kong’s first-ever Olympic medalist in CYCLING, is Velasco’s finest ward. Already a double gold medalist in the Asian Games (2010 Guangzhou and 2014 Incheon), SHE won the bronze in the London Olympics and several medals in the UCI World Championships.

“We spent SIX years training [Lee],” Velasco says. “It’s a long, tedious process, but that’s how other countries create world-class athletes. We want to duplicate that process here with the PSI.”

Asked when the PSI will see the first big fruit of its labor, Velasco says the Filipino athlete can reach optimum strength in 2024. That’s the next Olympic quadrennial after Tokyo 2020... Read more