“There are lots of athletes out there but we are lacking in giving them the support they needed,” said DCSCI president Vic Sai, referring to the numerous newly-discovered youthful athletes in the region, including 2007 Palarong Pambansa double gold medal winner Anthony Nevza of Digos City.
He reiterated that those youthful potential track stars who could possibly win Olympic gold medals should be given enough attention and support
“Once they will stop training, especially Anthony (Nevza), he will never win again in the Palarong Pambansa. That’s why it is important that they should be provided with enough support so they will undergo continuous training,” said Sai during the weekly Davao Sportswriters Association Forum.
Sai, a veteran sports leader and local paper sports editor, asked the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) to "acquire or support" Nevza who won the gold in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 5,000-meter run in the country’s premier national games among elementary and secondary students.
“The problem is the local PATAFA has no money and is not getting support from the National Sports Association (NSA) in Manila, not just PATAFA,” he added.
But PATAFA Davao Region chief Belen Kempis-Taala said he could opt to “distribute” the athletes to different schools that offer scholarships and give allowances.
“I guess, as of now, the best thing to do is to distribute these athletes in different schools where they could study for free,” Taala said.
The city government of Davao, through the City Sports Development Division and City Mayor’s Office, according to Sai, is doing its part as far as support for the Davao City athletes is concerned. But he added that the city government cannot accommodate them all, “that's why the case should be referred to PATAFA.”
In a previous interview, noted Holy Cross of Davao College athletics coach Emelio Lacanaria said he is training several potential track stars in Barangay Calinan, some 30 kilometers southwest of Davao City.
Apart from the group being trained by Lacanaria, a bunch of athletes is also undergoing training in Buda, Marilog District under the tutelage of former bemedalled athlete Alter Rivera, the City Sports Development Division said.
Many youthful athletes are also doing well in the sport in Davao Oriental, particularly in the municipalities of Taragona and Man-ay, according to 2007 National PRISAA double gold medal winner Jerome Dismass.