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Congressman Mark Zambar, member of the Youth and Sports Development Committee, confirmed support for collegiate sports from the lower house during the opening ceremonies of the National Consultative Meeting on Collegiate Sports at the Multi-Purpose Arena at the Philsports Complex in Pasig City today.  “We at the congress are willing to help, but we have to see a firm plan, let us all work together and find direction” said Zambar.

 

The meeting hopes to unify stakeholders of collegiate sports to ultimately form a firm, allied program and a unified athletic association for university sports.  Zambar was positive in his expectations of the 2-day activity’s output, saying that “this is the bridge we have been looking for, ultimately helping us have better performances in the elite level like the Asian Games and the Olympic Games.”

 

This sentiment is shared by Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez who started his welcome address by admitting that the agency, after 27 years of existence, failed to completely fulfill its mandate.  He was quick to add that the agency has recognized this and is now running to fill in gaps, starting with grassroots sports. “We came here to build bridges. Yes, there are sad stories but we have to learn from those stories.”

 

Ramirez shared that the agency is now connecting with different groups and agencies to make this happen, “we know there is strength in partnerships so we are partnering with the Department of Education to fortify the PalarongPambansa, with the Commission on Higher Education for tertiary sports, with the Department of Interior and Local Government and different local government units for grassroots sports.”

 

The PSC chief also said that the PSC is only a catalyst, “if they decide to form an umbrella association, or whatever path they want to take as a group, we will support them.”

 

Zambar commented that he is happy that this kind of activity is being spear-headed by the PSC as “it is long overdue.”  Ramirez in closing said that there is indeed a lot to be done, but that “we have to start somewhere, and we have to start now.”

 

Congressman Conrado Estrella, Chairperson of the Youth and Sports Committee, was also present.

 

Around 70 universities, colleges and athletic groups from across the country are represented in the said event.