New PSC Chairman Noli Eala seeks to continue successful program for the long term

NEWLY appointed Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Noli Eala drove himself straight to his new office at the agency’s Malate, Manila office yesterday morning and quickly got down to business.

And on his first day of office, he outlined three major targets — sustain the success of the glorious achievements of the past leadership, develop grassroots sports and tap the private sectors similar to the old Gintong Alay days.

“We have made great strides in the last few years in sports,” said Mr. Eala, who got his appointment papers as the PSC’s 11th chair from Malacañang last Tuesday, in a statement.

“My new administration will seek to ensure sustainability of the success of our programs for the long term,” he added.

Meanwhile, Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino said he’s looking forward to a harmonious relationship with Mr. Eala.

“A wonderful choice by our President BBM [Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.] because he [Mr. Eala] is a sportsman himself and has been involved in sports for many decades,” said Mr. Tolentino. “He surely knows the needs of athletes and coaches in all sports federations.”

Mr. Eala will have in his hands the responsibility of sustaining, if not eclipsing, the accomplishments the country has achieved the past few years like weightlifter’s breakthrough Olympic gold medal in the Tokyo Games a year ago, world titles of gymnast Caloy Yulo and a historic World Championship bronze by pole-vaulter EJ Obiena among others.

Mr. Eala also mentioned seeking support from the private sector to further enhance these recent successes.

“We will continue with programs that will further strengthen our sports initiatives,” said Mr. Eala. “We will create pathways for all to get involved in sports while ensuring that elite athletes are provided with all they need to be successful.”

“We will reach out to the private sector, similar to the golden years of the Gintong Alay program, to harness their support for all stakeholders of sports,” he added.

Interestingly, the Gintong Alay was then headed by now Laoag City Mayor Michael Keon, who was reportedly one of the people responsible for Mr. Eala’s appointment.

The former PBA commissioner and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director, who first sat with PSC commissioner and officer-in-charge Bong Coo and executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr., also mentioned using grassroots sports in uplifting and uniting the nation.

“I will carry out the mandates of the PSC to develop and promote sports in the grassroots as a tool towards nation building and unity, and ensure full and enhanced support for our national athletes in their continued quest to bring honor and glory to our country,” he said.

And Mr. Eala vowed he would not relent in his quest to make these visions a reality.

“The PSC will have a new face and new energy. The PSC, under my watch, will care for sports like no other,” he said. — Joey Villar

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