Instead of prohibiting minors from joining contact sports, protocols should be put in place for the safety and benefit of athletes and coaches.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez said this in response to a proposed house bill, banning minors from full-contact competitive sports.
Ramirez explained injuries to athletes don’t only happen in combat sports. They can also occur in disciplines like basketball, baseball and gymnastics.
The PSC chief said safety measures should instead be encouraged.
Doing this should start with the coaches, who need to have an understanding and training in physical education, sports science and human physiology for him to engage young athletes in training activities.
And on the part of the athletes, there should be a limit in the time they train for a competition.
“Importante yan para hindi ma-burnout ang bata at ang coach ay knowledgeable din,” said Ramirez.
HB no. 1526, or “An Act Banning Minors from Full-Contact Competitive Sports, Imposing Penalties for Violation Thereof and for other Purposes,” was recently filed by Ako-Bicol partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr.
So far, thirteen national sports associations (NSA) have expressed their opposition to the proposed measure.
The bill states that there is a need to protect minor athletes from injuries and physical harm by prohibiting their participation in combat sport competitions while allowing recreational training.
The author added that it outlines prohibited acts, penalties for violators, and identification of roles and responsibilities of concerned parties.