By Jean Malanum

SUMMIT WORKSHOP. The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), in cooperation with the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA), discussed the national grassroots initiative program during a summit workshop at the University of Cagayan Valley (UCV) in Tuguegarao City. Cagayan on March 22, 2024. Officials who attended the workshop include (L-R) Zamboanga City Sports Development Officer Dr. Cecilia Atilano, PSC consultant Prof. Elbert ‘Bong’ Atilano Sr., PSC Commissioner Edward Hayco, UCV President Esther Susan Perez-Mari, Cagayan Provincial Administrator Atty. Maria Rosario Mamba-Villaflor, and City Councilor Tirso Mangada. (PSC photo)

MANILA – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Edward Hayco visited Tuguegarao City on Friday to discuss the national grassroots initiative program during a summit workshop at the University of Cagayan Valley in Cagayan province.

The PSC has tapped the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) to help carry out the sports agency’s mandate. Previous summit workshops were held in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, and Angeles City, Pampanga.

“To all the sports leaders here, being an ordinary person or coach can do extraordinary things. All of you can produce Olympians in the future,” said Hayco, stressing the importance of forging relationships with PRISAA and other sports-based associations like the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) and the Department of Education-organized Palarong Pambansa in building the path of athletes to become world-class caliber.

PRISAA has 400 member schools all over the country. It also holds an annual tournament in both secondary and tertiary levels.

During the summit workshop in Angeles City, PSC Chairman Richard Bachmann noted the contribution of school-based competitions in discovering potential talents.

University of Cagayan Valley President Esther Susan Perez-Mari has expressed her support to the PSC grassroots program.

“The grassroots program is, in essence, the development of sports without borders. What we will do is to also include those in the public schools. It is our goal for inclusivity,” said Perez-Mari.

Other topics discussed were the humble beginnings of national cager June Mar Fajardo, and Tokyo Olympic weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz at the grassroots level and the overview of Philippine sports including its legal basis discussed by PSC consultants Bernardino Ricablanca Jr. and Prof. Elbert ‘Bong’ Atilano Sr. (PNA)