The starting gun for the bill seeking to create a national high school dedicated for the training and development of future generations of Filipino world champions has been approved on third and final reading in the Senate.
Twenty-one senators were unanimous in supporting Senate Bill 1086, or An Act Creating and Establishing the Philippine High School for Sports and Providing Funds for adequate training of students with athletic abilities for competitive sports.
The bill, which now goes to Malacañang for presidential signature or veto, aims to establish the Philippine High School for Sports which will offer a secondary course with special stress on developing the athletic skills of the students through subjects pertaining to physical education and sports development.
We share the view of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on education, arts and culture, who said the PHSS would be a world-class educational and athletics facility which is at par with international standards.
He has noted that while Filipinos love sports, the Philippines has been lagging behind other countries in sporting competitions and events.
We note that the Philippines has been joining the Summer Olympic Games since 1924, or some 96 years, but Filipino athletes have only garnered 10 medals, and not a single gold medal.
Of the 13 Philippine athletes to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the silver-medal garnered by Hidilyn Diaz in the women’s weightlifting was the country’s only sport in the podium in any event.
It is a sad commentary that Filipino athletes lack the support due them in conversely the same situation where athletes of other nations get full support from their governments.
We underline what Gatchalian has said: “The end view of this legislation is to unleash the potential of young Filipinos who have shown early potential of excelling in sports for a sports-related career.”
Under the measure, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority will provide the land for the PHSS at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, and will be in charge of the construction of classrooms, dormitories, other sports facilities and related amenities.
The PHSS shall offer full or partial scholarship programs to students who have demonstrated the potential of excelling in sports—given that many of the country's youth have shown and continue to show exceptional potential in sports.
We remember the Latin phrase Mens sana in corpore sano. usually translated as "a healthy mind in a healthy body"—widely used in sporting and educational contexts to express the theory that physical exercise is an important or essential part of mental and psychological well-being.
The well-known motto, first used in 1861 by the Englishman John Hulley, stands for the ideal of versatility, where a person is only healthy when he is occupied both intellectually and physically.