PATAFA Ushers Back the Premier Athletics Championships in the Country

There are some new and exciting development in the local athletics scene, one of which is the staging of the 2015 Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships at the San Luis Sports Complex in Sta Cruz, Laguna.  This competition aims to bring out the best local athletes by having completion with the best in the country and the region.

— Press Release —

PATAFA Ushers Back the Premier Athletics Championships in the Country

On March 19-22, the country will witness the rebirth of its athletics glory.  The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) will be staging, after a five-year absence, the 2015 Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships at the San Luis Sports Complex in Sta Cruz, Laguna.  The Open will be hosted by the Laguna Provincial Government through Gov. Ramil Hernandez with the PATAFA as a partner co-host.

The Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships is the centerpiece sport event of PATAFA.  It is an annual track and field competition showcasing the athletic prowess of current members of the national athletics team pitted against the best of the best across the archipelago.  This year, expected to provide formidable competition are over 3,000 up-and-coming and powerhouse track and field athletes all over the Philippines plus invited top-notch athletes from neighboring Asian countries.

The National Open will feature outstanding athletes from China, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Hong Kong, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines.  Like most of the invited Southeast Asian countries which are preparing their respective track and field contingents for the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), the Philippines will use this gathering of the Philippines’ best in athletics as one of the, if not the final tryouts for coveted slots in the Philippine team to the Singapore SEAG.

An estimated 72 athletes and coaches from the 12 overseas teams (Malaysia is expected to be represented by both Peninsular and Sabah teams) will provide tough opposition to the local standouts.  The Philippines will field entries from the national team, the national training pool and collegiate leagues like the UAAP, NCAA, SCUAA.

The 2015 Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission with major sponsors Laguna Water, Pacific Online Scratch It KaskaSwerte, Papa John’s, Foton Philippines, PCSO, Smart, PLDT, Summit Natural Drinking Water, minor sponsors SSS, PAGCOR, Milo, Gatorade, L TimeStudio, Asics Watch, and media partners Buisness Mirror, Endurance Magazine, and The Philippine Star.

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The Passing of Baton of Leadership in PATAFA

2015 is a new dawn for the new leadership of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association.  The baton of leadership has been passed.

Track and Field has produced a lot of sports heroes in the likes of Lydia De Vega, Elma Muros Posadas, Isidro del Prado, Marestella Torres and so many others.  In 2002 Mr. Go Teng Kok formed his GTK Army that reaped honors from international competitions and won the most number of gold medals in the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games and proclaimed as the “Winningest Sports Association.”  This was again duplicated in 2009 when PATAFA was bestowed the honor as the “National Sports Association of the Year” by the Philippine Sportswriters Association.  Indeed, the feat of GTK Army is worth emulating and this is a big challenge for the years to come.

The baton has been passed.  It is now in the hands of Dr. Philip Ella Juico.  Dr. Juico is no pushover in sports.  He was the chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission from 1995 up to 1998.  He served also as the chairman of Super Liga from 2013 to 2014.  He is the Executive Vice President for the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (ICFP) from 1991 up to the present.  At present, he is the Director National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) since 2012.  He has a weekly sports column for the Philippine Star since 2000.  He also writes occasionally for the Business World (View from Taft) and the Business Mirror (Mirror Image).  He has a weekly radio program (Sports, Balita at Kalusugan) over the AM station of El Shaddai, DWXI.

Dr. Philip Ella Juico has accumulated decades of experience at the most senior levels in government, business/industry organizations, in the academe, and in several NGOs.  His strengths are in visioning and strategy formulation, starting up new business organizations, recruiting and developing managerial talent, setting up performance standards and measurement, and negotiations related to joint ventures and other forms of partnerships and marketing/public relations.  These strengths were developed during a career that has spanned more than 40 years and several business cycles.

With Dr. Juico at the helm of PATAFA, his initial program is to bring back the Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships at its lofty place as the prime project of PATAFA.  With the province of Laguna under Governor Ramil L. Hernandez as the co-host, this annual event will be held at San Luis Sports Complex in Sta. Cruz, Laguna on March 19 -22, 2015.

To invigorate the association, Dr. Juico is inviting several stakeholders in Athletics such as the UAAP, NCAA and the SCUAA and active Athletics Club like TMS Ship and the National Masters and Seniors Athletics Association of the Philippines (NMSAAP) to increase the numbers of Board Members thus having a wider membership and broader minds to work on the plans and programs of PATAFA.

Several ideas are still in the offing.  Expect a more vibrant and dynamic PATAFA.

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For more information about PATAFA, visit www.philathletics.org.

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