Sen. Pia Cayetano: Too much squabbling among sports commissions derails athletes

( Issues similar to the alleged politicking behind the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation have cropped up in other sports groups, reports ABS-CBN News. The most recent is the breaking away of the Amateur Swimming Association of the Philippines (ASAP) from the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association (PASA) due to "leadership issues."

In the Senate probe on the matter, Sen. Pia Cayetano said incidences, like what happened with the swim team, is the problem with sports in the country. "Athletes who are not members of national sports associations will never be eligible to compete," Cayetano said. She added, "We have had too much squabbling among the NSAs to the detriment of the athletes... too many athletes in various sports have been prevented from competing because of the factions and differences among the leaders." She also said that such politicking prevented several athletes from joining tournaments until they changed their loyalties. Previous reports showed that the PDBF experienced a situation similar to the swimming team.

In a Manila Bulletin report, Maria Luz Arzaga-Mendoza, a former swimming gold medalist, said that funding was not the main problem for athletes. Instead, she pinned the blame to "negative leadership" and overlapping functions of sports organizations. "I wish our sports leaders could act swiftly and solve the problems and not just talk and talk without addressing the real issues," she said.

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News and Manila Bulletin.

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