The government’s efforts to include Filipino athletes and other delegates competing or participating in the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in priority list for COVID-19 vaccination the both this year is laudable, said Sen. Christopher Go.
The Philippine Olympic Committee has initiated on Saturday, May 29 the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the national athletes competing in the said competitions.
Among those who have already been vaccinated is Filipino rower Cris Nievarez, who will represent the country in the Tokyo Olympics.
Members of the national volleyball and basketball teams, POC staff, and officials have also been inoculated.
Aside from the athletes, coaches, staff and sports media have also been given their doses.
A “no vaccine, no participation” policy has recently been enforced by the organizers of the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi which will be held from November 21 to December 2.
Citing the previous SEA Games, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, noted that athletes bring pride to the country and give Filipinos a sense of unity.
Go also emphasized that this is not merely about competition but is also a source of livelihood for athletes and other sports professionals, especially those who come from poor communities.
Currently, national athletes are preparing for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics where they hope to bag the country’s first gold medal. They will also be participating in the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam to defend the
Philippines’ championship title, and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to be held in Thailand in May next year.
At the height of the pandemic, Go urged the PSC to speed up the release of the allowances of the national athletes amid the pandemic. He also urged the government to provide other forms of assistance to support national athletes and coaches especially those who are preparing for international competitions.