Olympian and former national mentor Pinky Brosas promised to hold a better and bigger swimming program by the Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc., on a national scope, focusing on grassroots development next year.
Brosas said all cluster heads in 15 regional areas of COPA are done forging partnerships with their respective local government units and the Department of Education to conduct not just tournaments but educational programs for the athletes, coaches and teachers.
“The inclusion of provincial teams and underprivileged students from public schools is a testament of COPA’s serious campaign to open swimming to a much wider community. We firmly believe that swimming or any other sports is not exclusive to certain groups or community. And right now, inclusivity is happening,” said Brosas.
The swimming official was referring to the over 100 swimmers from public schools in Manila and teams from Leyte, Cagayan Valley, Cebu, Samar and Misamis Oriental, who joined COPA’s Reunion Swim Challenge leg 3, which come to a close on Sunday at the Teofilo Ildefonso swimming pool inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Center.
“Swimmers come and go, but coaches and trainors, nandiyan lang ang mga ‘yan kaya kailangan natin silang ma-educate sa tamang pamamaraan. Kapag tama ang nasimulan, walang duda na tama lahat ang approach sa mga batang atleta,” added Brosas, who was part of the Philippine Team in the Munich (1972) and Montreal (1976) Olympics.
Brosas joined COPA co-founder and tournament director Chito Rivera and technical head Richard Luna in awarding the medals to all the winners, headed by Nicola Queen Diamante and Paulene Beatrice Obebe, who both grabbed their third gold medals in the event organized by Samahang Manlalangoy ng Pilipinas, Philippine Sports Commission, Speedo and MILO.
Diamante, 11, collected her third mint by winning the girls’ 11-yrs 50-m backstroke, clocking 34.41 seconds, while Obebe claimed the 12-yrs class with a time of 36.82 seconds as they shared the ‘Most Prolific Swimmer’ award.
On Saturday, Diamante, the pride of RSS Dolphins Swim Club, shone in the girls: class A 50-m butterfly (34.72) and 50-m freestyle (31.69), while Obebe dominated her 12-yrs class, winning the 50-m freestyle (29.97) and 50-m butterfly (31.22).