Bong Go boosts support for Filipino athletes in preparation for Paris Olympics

To bolster the country’s performance at the 2024 Paris Olympics, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, has appealed for substantial support for the Philippine contingent. His commitment aims to prepare the athletes for the rigorous preparation for their respective competitions.

Go emphasized the importance of supporting the athletes saying, “Mahalaga na bigyan natin ng todo suporta ang ating mga atleta. Bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Sports, gagawin natin ang ating makakaya upang makapagbigay ng kinakailangang tulong para sa kanilang paghahanda sa Paris Olympics.”

In line with this, the Philippines is fielding a solid boxing team with two men and three women competing. The men’s team will see Carlo Paalam fighting in the men’s featherweight division and Eumir Marcial in the men’s middleweight. For the women, Nesthy Petecio will compete in the women’s featherweight class, Hergie Bacyadan will be the women’s middleweight, and Aira Villegas will be in the women’s flyweight division.

The overall Philippine delegation to the Paris Olympics comprises 15 athletes, with the boxing team expected to be a key contributor to the nation’s medal hopes, as of June 3.

Earlier, Go proposed the provision of half a million pesos in assistance to each Filipino athlete qualified for the upcoming Olympics so far, ensuring they are fully equipped and focused ahead of the global event scheduled that will take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11.

In an earlier interview, Go also expressed pride in the broader contingent of Filipino athletes preparing for the Olympics saying: “Good luck sa ating mga Olympians… Nandito lang po ako na sumusuporta po sa ating atleta. Laban tayo! Ang pusong Pinoy, palaging lumalaban!,” he said.

He concluded with a call to the nation to support its athletes, who carry the country’s honor and flag in their competitions.

“Suportahan po natin ang ating mga atleta. Bitbit po nila ang karangalan, bitbit po nila ang bandila natin. Suportahan po natin sila. Good luck sa ating mga Filipino athletes. Para po sa bayan ito. Lahat ng laban natin para sa Pilipino, para sa bayan,” urged Go.

Go has consistently shown his unwavering support for Filipino athletes participating in international events. In 2019, Go played a key part in securing a sponsorship arrangement between Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Hidilyn Diaz, which was used to help fund her training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In 2021, in response to a request from the PSC, Go advocated for the approval of additional allowances for athletes who represented the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in Japan.

He has also been a staunch advocate for sports education, having authored and co-sponsored Republic Act No. 11470, which established the National Academy of Sports in New Clark City. This institution integrates secondary education with a specialized sports curriculum, allowing student-athletes to excel both academically and athletically.

Moreover, Go’s legislative efforts include the filing and principal sponsorship of Senate Bill No. 2514, or the proposed Philippine National Games (PNG) Act, which aims to institutionalize a comprehensive framework for a national sports program, combining grassroots sports promotion with the broader agenda of national sports development. The bill already passed the final reading in the Senate.

As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and sponsor of the national sports budget, Go has continuously advocated for additional funding for the Philippine Sports Commission as well as the Games and Amusement Board to improve sports facilities, provide support to athletes participating in international competitions, and promote the value of sports as a key aspect in nation-building.

“Patuloy rin nating ienganyo ang kabataan to get into sports, stay away from illegal drugs and keep healthy and fit. Ako naman po, bilang inyong Mr. Malasakit, patuloy akong magseserbisyo sa abot ng aking makakaya dahil bisyo ko na ang magserbisyo sa inyong lahat,” Go said.

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