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Leyte Sports Academy formally opened, 37 athlete-scholars enrolled

By Provincial Media Relations Center
September 4, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Leyte Sports Academy formally opened Saturday with 37 athlete-scholars auditioned and screened from various parts of the province who would be undergoing a comprehensive sports and education program, seen to boost the province ranking in local and national sports competition.

The Leyte Sports Center in Tacloban CityAll the athletes recruited, 17 of them girls and 20 boys, aging 17 years old and below, are housed at the Sports Academy at the Leyte Sports Development Center, who are already attending sports trainings under professional trainers and coaches in the fields of swimming, boxing and athletics.

As the purpose of the program early on disclosed, all of these athletes are at the same time completing their school studies as they are enrolled in a school in Palo, Leyte. Most of these students are still in high school.

Supported with al the necessary equipment, accommodations and lodgings, the Leyte Sports Academy would also provide the student athletes with high-caliber trainings in swimming, boxing and athletics.

The vacated rooms and spaces at the former Leyte Colleges adjacent to the Leyte Sports Development Center have been converted into a dormitory for these athlete-scholars, that also houses a function hall, a recreation area and soon a computer room.

Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla said to improve the province’s, and subsequently the region’s, standing in national sports competition, there is a need to implement a good recruitment program that would provide championship caliber training for athletes with potentials.

“This would be very expensive but if it’s the only way to do it, then we have to pursue this option,” Gov. Petilla said.

With an improved pool of athletes, the governor added, the province and the region can improve it medal finish in national sports competition such as the Palarong Pambansa.

The Sports Academy is prioritizing recruits who are out of school youths and cannot afford to get themselves to schools. As a requirement the potential sports scholar must be between eight to fourteen years old and stands 5’6’ in height.

The Sports Academy is set to cost the province P1.5 to P2 million a year to cover the operation of the entire sports program.