Fair Play: Gullas eyes national funding for Talisay Sports Academy

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's July 18 edition)
I GOT a message from Rep. Samsam Gullas last Wednesday, a reaction to what I wrote last time (Politics will derail Talisay Sports Academy) and what the congressman said is music to a sports fan’s ear.

The Academy won’t be dependent on funds from Talisay City.

“I know politics will always play a part in the implementation of the sports academy, but for the funding, we could ask from the national government, which will be able to help us,” Samsam said in his message.

“If we will ask the funds from Talisay, it would be difficult even if the mayor is allied with me. They can help with the implementation of the policies, but in terms of funds for the infrastructure, we need to ask it from the national government, so it would be included in the GAA,” he said.

Now why did I say that Talisay politics would be a hindrance. Like I said, if you heard what Talisay City mayor said in his Soca last time, when he said that though Talisay was spared by Typhoon Yolanda, it wasn’t spared by Typhoon Alayon, then you’d know any project involving Samsam and JVR would be an exercise in futility.

But it’s good that Samsam says they can go around that roadblock because a Talisay Sports Academy and Training Center, funded by the national government could be the answer to Talisay sports woes.

What is the problem in Talisay City sports? Well, what is Talisay City sports aside from a basketball cup from the mayor?

I remember once, a coach formed a girls futsal team and went on to win a gold medal in the Batang Pinoy Visayas elimination sans support from the LGU. The coach visited JVR and was given P50--yes, Fifty freakin’ pesos---after waiting for almost a day. When his team’s story broke in the media and he highlighted the lack of support, the coach, who was also a teacher, suddenly found himself without a team and a job.

Is there anyone from Talisay who could be good enough to make the national team in the future? Yes, just as I believe that there’s always a rough gem everywhere, all they need is that chance to get that proper training.

My friend Roy Moore founded a football team as part of his charity work in Payatas--the country’s biggest dumpsite--and in a few years, one of his girls made it all the way to the national youth team.

There are always a rough gem waiting to be discovered and I believe, the Talisay Sports Academy can scour the city for those, provided, of course the academy get the right individuals to run its sports program.

We always hear people complain that the government doesn’t spend much for youth sports. But that’s because of the set-up, the government spends money to sports through the Philippine Sports Commission, which funds the national team and holds the Philippine National Games and Batang Pinoy competitions.

The Talisay Academy, should plans push through, will be that rare example of the national government spending for youth sports.

And when that happens, perhaps we could ask our own Cebu City congressman to look at what’s happening at the Cebu City Sports Institute and ask for national funding to help a program that’s already working.

Rep. Abellanosa could…oh, wait…I forgot, he’s the Samsam to Mike Rama’s JVR.

I really hope the Talisay City Sports Academy gets up and running, so the undiscovered kids of Talisay will get the chance. And of course, seeing a nationally-funded program in Talisay could perhaps prod the Cebu City councilors and Rep. Abellanosa to take a pause from fighting who should pay what in school fees and look at what the Cebu City Sports Institute is doing for the underprivileged kids of the City, and ask the national government to kick in a million or two. 


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