A delegation composed of officials from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) met with top Chinese sports officials and visited key sports facilities and institutions in China during a working visit from March 19 to 23.
The visit of Philippine sports officials to China is a result of the Philippines-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Sports Cooperation signed during President Benigno S. Aquino's state visit to China in 2011 and part of the Philippines-China Years of Friendly Exchanges in 2012-2013.
The delegation was headed by PSC Chairman Ricardo R. Garcia and included POC Chairman Monico O. Puentevella, PSC Commissioner Jose Luis R. Gomez, Executive Assistant Roger L. Dullano and PSC Consultant Wallie M. Lee.
The highlight of the delegation's visit was the meeting with Minister Liu Peng of the Chinese General Administration of Sport on March 20. Minister Liu, who is also the president of the China Olympic Committee (COC) visited Manila in November 2011 to discuss the implementation of the PH-China MOU on Sports Cooperation with Filipino sports officials.
During the meeting, Chairman Garcia discussed with Minister Liu the PSC's priority projects under the Philippines-China MOU on Sports Cooperation. Among these are a goodwill basketball match between the Shanghai Sharks team led by popular basketeer Yao Ming and a Philippine team in June 2012. Chairman Garcia also expressed appreciation to the Chinese side for its interest in conducting basketball clinics for Filipino youth.
Under the Philippines' plan to send 150 Filipino athletes for training overseas, it will send medalists in the past Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the fields of athletics, aquatics, archery, fencing, weightlifting and wushu to train in sports facilities in China under the supervision of Chinese coaches and in cooperation with Filipino coaches.
Chairman Garcia expressed the country's plan to focus on ten (10) priority sports where Filipino athletes have the highest potential to excel, namely, boxing, taekwondo, wrestling, weightlifting and wushu for weight-specific sports, archery, billiards and bowling where the Philippines has achieved worldwide recognition, athletics and swimming.
"The Philippines wishes to pursue exchanges with China in these sports in terms of athletes and coaches, as well as equipment, in order to further their capabilities," Chairman Garcia said.
Part of the Philippine delegation's program in Beijing includes visits to the Beijing Sports University, Beijing Shichahai Sports School, China Institute of Sports Science and the National Research Institute of Sports Medicine. Chairman Garcia also expressed hope that some of the Philippines' sports science graduates and sports medicine practitioners could attend short courses in these institutes to learn the latest Eastern ways of sports medicine. END