EXPECT more women in the mold of Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz to shine in the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games and other major international competitions this year.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is sure about it.
“ There are now more women in sports who excel in their respective sports. Hidilyn is only one of them,” said PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram during her maiden appearance in the 6th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros.
Kiram, the highest female official in the government sports agency under President Duterte, guaranteed the success of more women in sports due to “the hard work, training and preparation under the able leadership of their respective national sports associations.”
“We are very confident about the chances of the Filipina women in sports,” added Kiram, who heads the oversight committee for women sports in the PSC.
“ I do not want to say that Filipino athletes are not trying enough, but we all know that Filipina women have achieved more success in sports in recent years. Maybe they work harder, try harder.”
Kiram’s counterpart in the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Cynthia Carrion agreed with the observation.
“It is the women’s turn to shine. Hidilyn Diaz blazed the way and now more women are taking up the challenge,” said Carrion, also the president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP).
Kiram and Carrion announced plans to hold a PSC-POC Women’s Sports Summit in March.
“This is also to show everybody that the POC and PSC can work together to achieve our common objective of bringing honors to the country thru sports,” explained Carrion, a member of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHILSGOC).
Another worthwhile endeavor is the Women’s Martial Arts Festival, which has grown in popularity in the past five years.
“In my first year as PSC commissioner, there were only about 500 participants in the Women’s Martial Arts Festival,” Kiram said.
“Last October, it ballooned to 1,600 when we hosted it at the Harrison Plaza. Now we need a bigger venue despite our meager resources.
Kiram said she want this Women’s Martial Arts Festival to be institutionalized. so that we can get more funds from the PSC and bring this festival to Visayas and Mindanao.”
Kiram noted that MAP was one of the groups that supported the WMAF since its inception.