By Ben Serrano
With surfing as the only hope for the Philippines to have its first Olympics gold medal, the national government will establish the first ever National Training Center for Surfing in Cloud 9, General Luna, Surigao del Norte.
“Filipinos are really ideal for surfing due its size unlike basketball that requires not only height advantage but also quickness can run fast and can perfectly shot from all angles. Filipinos don’t have the height and even the quickness that are needed even in the qualifying basketball games under FIBA to enter Olympics,“ said Surigao del Norte Francisco “Bingo” Matugas II.
Matugas said that as of now there are two or three local Siargao surfers presently Asian Surfing champions that can beat and have beaten already the best in the country and even among ASEAN surfers.
“With surfing included in 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it is only our hope maybe boxing also if given proper training to finally get that elusive Olympic gold medal deprived from us since the invention of the International Olympics”, Matugas said.
“As of now, the word is there is age limit and no professional surfers are allowed to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as competitors must be young and amateur. But probably there are changes on that considering that even the Philippine Sports Commission and the IOC have not officially crafted yet rules and policies of surfing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” the solon added.
According to Matugas, this coming October 27, officials, board of directors, members of the United Philippine Surfing Association (UPSA) , the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Olympic Committee and other surfing sports officials in the country will hold meeting in Siargao to discuss the Tokyo Olympics.
The Surigao solon disclosed only 40 surfing competitors, 20 male and 20 female are allowed by the International Olympic Committee to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Which means Philippines has to compete with other 60 countries to get one or three of that limited slots for the Tokyo Olympics whose venue will be in Inoshima, Japan. That’s why there’s a need for us here in Siargao to establish National Training Center for surfing, not only in preparation of Tokyo Olympics but for other future surfing competitions both national and international,” Matugas added.
Matugas revealed the only accredited surfing organization in the country by IOC or the International Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission is the UPSA.
Matugas is a member of the Board of Directors of UPSA.