P23-M weighlifting center to rise in Zambo

Expect more Hidilyn Diazes to come from the city of Zamboanga, the country’s weightlifting capital.

The national government is allocating P23-million to finance the construction of a weightlifting training center in Zamboanga City, the first one of its kind away from Metro Manila as regionalization becomes the order of the day in sports development under the Duterte administration.

Zamboanga City councilor Elbert Atilano, who is the Philippine Weightlifting Association vice president, said on Wednesday that the training center would be built inside the Joaquin F. Enriquez Jr. Memorial Sports Complex.

Seventeen-year old prodigy Dessa delos Santos
Seventeen-year old prodigy Dessa delos Santos

Atilano said a two-storey building will be constructed to house the weightlifting training center with complete equipment including a dormitory that could accommodate at least 32 athletes at one time.

“The training center will enhance the performance of the (weightlifting) athletes since we will have a good facility,” Atilano said.

He said the construction of the training center would start on the first quarter of 2017.

Once completed, the training center will benefit more or less 100 Zamboangueño weightlifters.

At present, the weightlifters from this city train at the weightlifting gym of a private university, the Universidad de Zamboanga. (with report from PNA)