Why can’t National Sports Associations form a large pool of talents in spite of the presence of young discoveries emanating from grassroots programs like the Department of Education’s Palarong Pambansa and the Philippine Sports Commission’s Batang Pinoy.
This is particularly true in some combat sports, where athletes look forward to a professional career like boxing.
It could also be true in other martial arts disciplines like wushu, muay thai and kickboxing, which was recently recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Bright combat sports prospects from the provinces have emerged in this year’s Batang Pinoy, but when this Locker Room writer asked the coaches about their plan for their young wards, they said their athletes are being groomed to become professionals.
They reasoned that they could not send their young players to Manila to train as juniors’ players for fear of being culture-shocked. And most of the time, those who leave their provincial clubs to become national players could not “remember” where they come from.
“Kahit umuuwi sila, pinagtataguan na kami (coaches) dahil akala hihingi kami sa kanila,” said a provincial coach, referring to their former players who get allowances as national boxers.
This has been the system since way back. Another reason for the practice was because the PSC only recognizes the national coaches appointed by the NSA. The coach who discovered and nurtured the athlete since he/she was child is left in the cold.
The national coach also gets the incentives when the athletes win medals in international competitions. Again the coach discoverer is not included in accolades or whatever benefits in store for the coaching staff.
Not the usual practice
Taking this into consideration, officials of the Samahang Kickboxing sa Pilipinas is aiming to walk a different path. They want to revolutionize the way martial arts club participates in the sport’s national affairs.
There is now a strong proposal to form a national coaching pool, composed of the head coaches from various martial arts clubs in they country. The pool will support, monitor and train the national reserve of athletes regardless of what club they came from.
These pool of coaches will share the benefits, financial or otherwise, when the athletes win in international competitions. There is also a plan to have the national coaching staff rotated every year to give chances to all the members of the national pool of coaches.
National players will be allowed to train in their home gyms using the unified training system so they don’t have to transfer to Manila or in Tagaytay, where the kickboxing national training camp is to be set up.
National athletes will only stay in the camp together for at least two or three months prior to a big international competition like the SEA Games, Asian Games or Championships.
The plan has gained support from the various martial arts clubs, especially from the Northern Luzon Kickboxing Alliances, which has nearly 30 member clubs.
SKP is doing away with the conventional in its bid to win majority of the eight medals at stake in kickboxing event of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines is hosting on Nov. 30 to Dec 11.
They will also lay out a comprehensive training system that will prepare the athletes for the biennial meet. Again, it will be different from what other NSAs are doing.
This system, though, will have to be kept under wraps—for now.