SEA Games venues get ‘Class 1’ certification

READY, SET, GO. Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go shares a light moment with Filipino athletes who will participate in this year’s South East Asian (SEA) Games at the New Clark City Sports Center in Capas, Tarlac on Wednesday (October 16, 2019). Go and other legislators conducted an ocular inspection of the facility. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

The International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) and the International Swimming Federation (FINA) have certified the New Clark City (NCC) Athletics Stadium and Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac as “Class 1” facilities for the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games from November 30 to December 11 this year.

The certification of the NCC sports facilities was announced on Wednesday in a press conference attended by House of Representatives Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano; Senator Bong Go; Bases Conversion Development Authority CEO and president Vince Dizon; Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino; and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioners Ramon Fernandez and Arnold Agustin.

“It was just a dream before. But because of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte, natupad po ang dating pangarap lamang (of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, what was once a dream turned into reality),” Dizon said.

The world-class sports facilities, where athletics and aquatics in the SEA Games will be held, were constructed in 18 months.

With the construction of the Class 1 venues, Go said the Philippines is ready to produce more world-class talents who can follow the footsteps of world champions Carlos Yulo of gymnastics, Nesthy Petecio of boxing, and Olympic qualifier EJ Obiena of athletics.

“Magiging masaya po ang ating Pangulo sa pagkakagawa ng nasabing sports facilities dito po sa Pampanga (Our President will surely appreciate the construction of these sports facilities here in Pampanga),” he said.

“Ngayon ay masisiguro na po natin na makakapag-hubog po ang Pilipinas ng mga (Now we can surely produce) world-class athletes like Caloy Yulo, Nesthy Petecio, and Ej Obiena now that we have access to the world-class facilities dito sa ating bansa (here in our country),” he added.

The senator, along with the other guests, also witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony of the Philippine National High School for Sports that is expected to be completed by 2021.

The school will be open to students who aspire to develop their skills as athletes.

“It will be just like the regular high schools. But here, the students will undergo training to determine what sports they (would) fit in. It will eventually have an entrance examination before the students can enroll,” Cayetano explained.

The country’s hosting of the 30th SEA Games is supported by Platinum sponsors — Ajinomoto, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., MG Cars, Philippine Airlines, Skyworth and CooCaa; Gold Sponsors — MasterCard, Milo, Pocari Sweat, NLEX, Pinco and Razer; Preferred sponsors — Asics, SM Lifestyle, Inc. and BMW; Prestige sponsors — Molten and Mikasa; and Banking Partners — Chinabank and PNB.

The biennial meet’s media partners are Bombo Radyo, Star FM and the Inquirer Group, CNN, United Neon and DOOH. Host broadcaster – NEP, while official broadcasters include Sports and Action, TV-5, Cignal, ESPN, and PTV-4. (PR)