There is no doubt sports in the Philippines is in dire need of an organization whose leadership can inspire Filipinos to do better in tournaments abroad.
It does not have to be in the Olympics, no, but let us set our hearts and mind first in the Asian Games (AG) where we belong and where we can ably compete against most athletes from other countries because of similarities in our physique.
Time and again after coming home from a dismal performance of our athletes in the AG, government officials and organizations responsible in developing sports in the country like the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) seem to go back to their drawing boards to correct the seemingly inadequacies of our athletes in their respective events.
But nothing has changed at all. On the contrary, the recently concluded 2014 AG in Incheon, Korea resulted yet in our worst participation in the history of the games with just 15 medals (1 gold, 3 silvers, 11 bronzes) which was good for only 22nd place among the 45 competing countries. The lone gold was courtesy of BMX rider Daniel Caluag, who just happen to represent the country being a Fil-Am, which also means that all his training have been done abroad.
What makes it even more embarrassing for a sports crazy country is how we placed ourselves in the medal tally that follows among the Southeast Asian countries: Thailand at 6th (12-7-28), Malaysia at 14th (5-14-14), Singapore at 15th (5-6-13), Indonesia 17th (4-5-11), Myanmar 20th (2-1-4), Vietnam 21st (1-10-25), Philippines 22nd (1-3-11) and Laos 33rd (1-2-3).
So what is plaguing Philippine sports?
Politics? Corruption? Poor attitude of athletes? Inadequate food? Lack of motivation? Incompetent trainors? Meager funds? Lack of training facilities?
One person that should worry about the dismal state of our sports program is the man the world idolizes as a great boxer, Manny Pacquiao, who while still boxing has turned politician and is now a member of the lower House of Congress. Speculations are rife that he is being eyed for a senatorial slate in 2016 election.
Alas, what a waste of talent with Pacquiao getting into politics when his real calling is in helping the country develop its sports program.
I am saying this because we know that Pacquiao did not become what he is today because he prepared and trained himself to be a politician.
No, he prepared and trained himself to be a boxer and it was his hunger, dedication, determination and self-discipline that made him excel in his profession.
What it means is that Pacquiao knows perfectly well what it takes to be able to transcend poverty and other adversities in life and be able to raise the level of competitiveness each time by focusing on what one is doing and his passion for boxing is what every athlete should feel deeply in his heart and mind so they could be the best in their respective sports discipline.
The country’s sports organization needs somebody like Pacquiao, a world class champion, to be able to motivate our athletes for they know whereof he speaks. Sad to say that no member of the organization comes near Pacquiao in that category, so how could an aspiring athlete be inspired and provoked to show the best of him?
I hope that Pacquiao realizes, much sooner than later, that he is just being used in politics by some unscrupulous politicians for their own selfish motives, and that his real calling is in leading the improvement and advancement of sports in this country so that, like him, it could produce athletes who can ably compete in international games and earn the honor and respect our country deserves by the example that he has shown.