A bigger number of young swimmers is expected to compete in the 1st Novice Swim Championship of the Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc. this weekend at the Teofilo Ildefonso swimming pool inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.
COPA Board member coach Chito Rivera said the decision of the Philippine Sports Commission to relax the regulation on the antigen testing requirement for those who enter the agency’s facility definitely encouraged more parents, coaches and swimmers to join the tournament, which is one of the grassroots program that COPA lined up this year.
“Through the efforts of Cong. Eric Buhain, who is also one of COPA’s founders, PSC Chairman Noli Eala agreed to remove the antigen requirements. We know that there are still many parents and swimmers, who avoid to undergo the antigen test. With this, we expected an increase from our confirmed 300 participants this weekend,” said Rivera.
He added that the competition is open not only to COPA-affiliated clubs and organizations ‘as long as their respective coaches personally list them’.
“It’s open to everyone, we won’t discriminate swimmers. Kailangan lang ‘yung coach nila mismo ang magpapalista para malaman namin kung saan namin ilalagay ‘yung mga bata kasi sila nakakaalam sa kakayahan ng mga bata,” Rivera added.
The former national swimming official and varsity coach of Jose Rizal University believes that the true essence of sports development is good leadership and unity among all stakeholders.
“‘Yung mga estudyante sa public schools, kailangan ma-include natin sila sa mainstream, kaya nakikipagusap na ang COPA sa DepEd at sa DILG para magkatulungan through a ‘Godfather’ program. ‘Yung nasa public schools na may kakulangan sa pasilidad at kapasidad na magbayad ng membership fee at training fee, kulang din sa technical knowledge ang mga sports facilitator,” added Rivera.
Aside from the Novice Swim Championship, COPA will also organize the Reunion 3rd leg on Oct. 1 and 2; the Reunion Swim Challenge Championship on Oct. 22 and 23; Sprint meet with the introduction of SKINS Swim event on Nov. 12 and 13; and Short Course Yuletide Swimming Championship on Dec. 10 and 11.