Fate of PATAFA Weekly Relays still uncertain

Months ago, I heard talk of the Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association (PATAFA) Weekly Relays cancellation due to the lack of sponsors. I was disappointed, of course. Having failed to compete at the Nationals due to a hamstring injury, I was looking forward to strut my resurrected form at the meet that started it all – the weekly relays.

There have been conflicting accounts. Some people say the Weekly Relays will be shortened to save on costs. Others opined that the meet itself would be scrapped altogether. The news I’ve been getting from track & field habitues mostly lean towards the latter.

I’m not a ranting person. I prefer to write about the emotional and technical aspect of the sport. I abhor the politicians-turned-sports administrators that squabble among themselves, much to the detriment of our sports system.

Yes, it sucks not having a track meet to compete in (the Philippines only has a handful of Open competitions. Most are school-based). As a washed-up college level hurdler, I can hang up my spikes for all I care. Nearing my 25th birthday, there is no future for me in track & field. Frankly, I’m concerned more for the future of the sport. Without the PATAFA relays, promising public school kids in Manila will be left without an important arena for honing their skills.

Our enlightened sports officials have gotten their priorities all wrong. They choose to provide monetary incentives AFTER winning the GOLD MEDAL. Don’t they realize that support and assistance BEFORE winning the GOLD MEDAL are more important?

Prior to big competitions, I always hear our glorious sports officials harping about awarding cash prizes to those who win medals. They need a reality check. Most athletes train for YEARS to reach the pinnacle of their respective events. Dangling a cash prize months before the competition will not get us anywhere near that elusive first Olympic gold medal.

However, there’s a faint glimmer of hope in the much-maligned Harry Angping’s policy of pooling elite athletes and showering them with support. Even if I don’t agree with some of his hard-nosed policies, I tip my hat to this prudent move.

I just wish that they could spend more on grassroots sports.

In times like these, a benefactor in the mold of a Manny Pangilinan will be heaven sent.

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2 responses to “Fate of PATAFA Weekly Relays still uncertain

  1. pinoyhalfmiler July 16, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Well said. Hopefully somebody from the government read this post.

  2. pirieandrew July 17, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    I am a ranting person and yes the political side of the sport constantly gives me a headache to the point were i cant be bothered with poorly organised meets anymore.

    However your bold statement i couldnt agree with more. The emphasis is far too much on the end result ( a sea games gold), rather than doing the hard work and the methodology. I dont think its a bad thing to do away with the weekly relay meet. However replacing it with nothing will provide nothing but a gapping hole in grassroots and the domestic season of Philippine Track and Field.

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