SPORTS KEN: Success depends on sacrifices

All endeavors succeed because sacrifices were offered.

Success is not easily achieved. There will always be struggles, opposing ideas and obstacles. Even in the movies, a happy ending – usually good triumphing over evil – results when somebody sacrifices himself to save somebody else’s life.

In Philippine sports, this is the opposite.

Masquerading as leaders in their own field, sleek operators grab every position available in the sports hierarchy to push their hidden agenda. Once they get what they desire, they will prevent anyone from booting them out of their trenches.

This has been the sports scene since way. Aah, Philippine sports is in such a sorry state.

Despite the continuing downslide of the country’s performance in IOC-organized sportsfest, specifically in the recently-concluded Malaysian SEAG, POC officials led by the ageing Peping Cojuangco have refused to acknowledge this accountability.

Obviously, Cojuangco does not know the meaning of the term “sacrifice.” He is stubbornly clinging to his post as a fourth-termer president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, this despite loud protests that he steps down in favor a young, energetic and progressive thinking replacement.

In a sports committee hearing in Congress, Rep. Manuel Lopez confronted Cojuangco and his POC ilk and forthwith ask them to resign if the negative scorecards of Filipino athletes continue unabated.

Lopez cited that millions of taxpayers’ money are being used to subsidize the training and preparation of Filipino athletes only to see them go down in embarrassing defeat.

“Shouldn’t they be bringing honors for the country?” Lopez asked. There was only a quiet response.

The Philippine Sports Commission is on an aggressive mission today in bringing the sports gospel among the lowly grassroots. There is a long way to go because sports development cannot be achieved overnight.

For one thing, potential athletes from the ranks of out of school youths are not being tapped yet. Talent scouts usually set their eyes on school-organized sports competitions like the Palarong Pambansa and PRISAA, the NCAA and the UAAP.

PSC chair Butch Ramirez will need to produce a unified blueprint of a nation-wide all-encompassing grassroots sports program that will simultaneously include those out of school.

Sports fans and observers alike raised quizzical eyebrows when Cojuangco recently predicted that in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Filipinos will bring home four gold medals.

As to which sports will succeed in collaring a gold, Cojuangco did not however identify the winner.

As you read my premise, it is the personal sacrifices of sports leaders that will spell victory after victory for our national athletes.

Because of the millions of taxpayers’ money poured into sports, one suspects that this is what attracts pseudo-leaders to get into the fray.

Corruption is everywhere, I tell you.

If there is no money in sports, do you think presidents of national sports associations will last longer in their posts?

If there is no money in sports, why do you think POC officials like to stay put? Would you like to believe that they are spending their own money for their athletes?

Only the filthy rich like Danding Cojuangco, Manny Pangilinan, Lucio Tan, Hans Sy and a few others would be credibly regarded as freely spending in the name of sports.

Many NSA officials are there because they are also using sports as a business endeavor. Everytime they get back from an international competition as representatives of the country, they bring in many balikbayan boxes full of dutiable items that they sell locally. This is technical smuggling, isn’t it?

So, if being sports earn you extra money without spending cash out of your pocket, would you ever make a sacrifice ang cede it to a better sports person?

This, gentlemen and ladies, is why the word “sacrifice” is never in the vocabulary of our present crop of sports leaders.

If you look them straight in the face, you will see the PESO sign in their eyeballs.

Butch Ramirez has indeed a BIG problem in his hands. (Email your feedback to fredumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES.

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