THE GINTONG Aliyaha successful “Godfather” sports program nearly half a century ago, will make a comeback but with a twist.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Noli Eala actually already has an idea of what she will be called.
“In my mind, it’s ‘Gintong Laban ng Athletang Dakila (the great athletes fight for gold)’ and I’m just waiting for the picture to be complete so I can get their opinion,” Mr Eala said during de le Foum of the Filipino Sportswriters Association yesterday at the agency’s office in Malate, Manila.
Gintong Alay, instituted under the administration of President Marcos’ father, Ferdinand, Sr., in the late 1970s and 80s with now Laoag Mayor Michael Keon as its first project director, has produced so many great athletes, including l former Asian sprint queen and fastest Lydia de Vega-Mercado.
While the Gintong Alay was made by naming a man from the private sector as the sponsor of certain sports, Mr Eala explained that his version would pool funds they get from the private sector to help finance the whole sport. ‘National team.
“There was less sport back then, so the sponsorship system was applicable back then. My idea right now is to seek support from the private sector, raise funds to support our sports program,” said said the former PBA commissioner and executive director of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
“It might not necessarily be per sport because we have so many sports right now, so we’re going to group it together and channel it into specific programs that might be related to infrastructure, improving the training our athletes and of course the ancillary services and create a winning formula,” he added.
Mr Eala, however, stressed that they would keep the same blueprint that produced figures like the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, Hidilyn Diaz, in weightlifting and two-time world champion Caloy Yulo, in gymnastics, but with parallel private support.
“Hidilyn Diaz, Caloy Yulo has shown the mark of success in my opinion, but we will exploit it with the support of the private sector so that we can produce more Hidilyn Diaz and Caloy Yulo,” he said. — Joey Villar