MANILA, Philippines—With the Philippine Sports Commission’s training calendar thrown in disarray because of the COVID-19 situation, commissioner Ramon Fernandez is studying possible alternatives to whip national athletes bound for the Southeast Asian Games into competitive shape.
Fernandez, the country’s chef de mission to the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam later this year, has listed probable scenarios in a meeting with PSC executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Philippine Sports Institute national training director Marc Edward Velasco and other top agency officials on Thursday.
“We discussed the possible impact of the present situation to the proposed (SEA Games) bubble. It might be a waste of money because of the lockdown,’’ said Fernandez.
The head of the joint SEA Games task force composed of the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee, Fernandez will likewise meet up with top officials of the POC on Friday in a collective effort to find a solution.
Athletes inside the bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna are barred from engaging in contact activities due to the ongoing enhanced community quarantine within the National Capital Region and adjacent provinces.
“We want to know from the NSAs (national sports associations) the time frame of their athletes to get into shape and be ready for the SEA Games competitively,’’ said Fernandez.
“We have to make sure that our athletes have been training properly and one of the proposals is to move their training outside of Metro Manila and nearby provinces,’’ added Fernandez.
The SEA Games task force penciled April 15 as the start of the bubble training of 626 athletes from 39 sports who will see action in the Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 biennial meet. That plan was shelved after Metro Manila and four nearby provinces were put under restrictive lockdown due to a surge of coronavirus cases.
A training bubble was supposed to be inflated at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and Philsports Complex in Pasig City, but the training venues inside these facilities are being utilized as quarantine areas for COVID-19 patients.
Since the Enhanced Community Quarantine began on March 29, taekwondo jins and boxers inside Inspire have been prohibited from sparring, limiting them to maintain individual training.
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