Press Release
December 6, 2023

Recognized for his contributions in advancing sports sector, Bong Go commends youth athletes during Siklab Youth Sports Awards

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go paid tribute to the nation's young athletes during the 2023 Siklab Youth Sports Awards at the Market! Market! Activity Center in Taguig City on Monday, December 4.

The event, organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee Media Group, honored athletes under 18 from diverse sports.

Go, hailed as the "Godfather of the Year," recognized the collective efforts in advancing Philippine sports, stating, "Lubos din po ako na nagpapasalamat sa pagkilala ninyo sa akin bilang 'Godfather of the Year'. Ang ganitong pagkilala ay hindi lamang para sa akin kundi para rin sa ating lahat na patuloy na sumusuporta at nag-aambag sa paglago ng palakasan sa Pilipinas."

Go then expressed his full support for athletes, stating, "Ako naman with or without award, ay patuloy po akong tutulong sa ating mga atleta, sa ating sports industry."

Reflecting on the journey since the first Siklab Youth Sports Awards, Go reminisced about past awardees like Carlos Yulo and Chezka Centeno, who continue to inspire the youth.

"Naalala ko pa noong unang taon ng Siklab Youth Sports Awards, kung saan kinilala natin ang mga katulad ni Carlos Yulo at Chezka Centeno," said Go.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports, spoke about the importance of sports in shaping the character and future of the youth, encouraging them to strive for excellence. He stressed the significance of advancing grassroots sports development.

He highlighted his efforts in establishing the National Academy of Sports (NAS) in New Clark City, Tarlac, through Republic Act 11470, enabling student-athletes to pursue education alongside sports. Go was one of the authors and co-sponsors of the measure.

"Nariyan na po ang NAS kung saan po ang estudyante pwede pong mag-training at the same time mag-aral. Pwede po silang mag-aral at the same time mag-training," said Go.

"Wala pong masasakripisyo dahil nandidiyan na po sa loob ng compound ang school building, nandiyan na po ang mga track and field, nandiyan na po ang swimming pool. Pwede na po silang mag-training doon kasi noon kapag nag-atleta ka nasasakripisyo ang pag-aaral," he added.

Go's commitment to sports is further evident in his proposed Philippine National Games Act, which aims to institutionalize a national grassroots sports program and address the challenges in Philippine sports.

"The measure, if enacted into law, aims to institutionalize a truly comprehensive national grassroots sports program, which will harness the vast potential of the citizenry in discovering and developing champion athletes who could excel in international sports competitions, thus giving the country pride and international goodwill and addressing the long-standing problems of Philippine sports in general," he said.

Go has also consistently stressed the importance of supporting and providing a budget for sports.

"We are working in the Senate to add a budget for the PSC for next year for the participation of our athletes in international competitions, promotion of grassroots sports development, and rehabilitation of the Rizal Memorial Complex and Philsports Complex," said Go.

Meanwhile, Go acknowledged PSC commissioners Edward Hayco and Olivia "Bong" Coo, Rene Gacuma, the new president of the Philippine Fencing Association; and Jeremy Go, founder of the Go for Gold program. He expressed his delight in the publication of the 'Icon Sports Chronicles,' a comprehensive record of Filipino athletes' achievements.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go also outlined his approach to using sports as a tool to combat social issues like drug abuse and crime. He urged the youth to engage in sports, saying, "Kaya umiikot ako sa buong Pilipinas, inaanyaya ko yung mga kabataan to get into sports stay away from drugs."

The senator concluded his speech by encouraging the youth to engage in sports as a way of life, steering clear of drugs, and to relentlessly pursue their dreams.

"Nananawagan po ako sa inyong lahat, especially the youth, to embrace sports as a way of life, get into sports, stay away from drugs, to keep us healthy and fit," said the senator.

"Engaging in sports activities not only keeps you physically fit but also instills values that are crucial in building a strong and resilient character. Full support po ako parati sa ating sports," added Go.

The Siklab Youth Sports Awards, now in its third year, continues to be a pivotal platform for recognizing and inspiring the country's young sports talents. With the likes of Hidilyn Diaz and Meggie Ochoa as previous honorees, the awards stand as a testament to the growing sports culture in the country.

"Salamat po sa inyong lahat at tandaan po natin isang beses lang po tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan o tulong na pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa ay gawin na natin ngayon dahil hindi na tayo babalik sa mundong ito. Iyan po ang totoo," he concluded.

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