After months of waiting, swimming caps, balls and training goals were finally delivered to aquatic centers in different neighborhoods by the office of the mayor of Manila Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
The equipment actually arrived from Europe last April, as Moreno wants the nation’s capital to be the water polo capital of the Philippines. But distributions of water polo equipment had to wait following the surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital region.
Led by Dale Evangelista, the man in charge of the program, and Roel de Guzman of the Manila Sports Council (MASCO), the equipment was distributed to five facilities, namely Vitas Aquatic Complex, Andalucia Complex, Dapitan Complex Bagong Buhay Complex, JCC Complex and the new Patricia Aquatic Center in Hermosa St. Tondo, Manila.
“We are happy to finally be able to provide them with the necessary training equipment. This just proved that Mayor Isko Moreno is serious and determined to make Manila the water polo capital of the Philippines, ”said Evangelista, a former mainstay of the national water polo team.
Evangelista, now a member of the national team’s coaching staff, said the program will start below Alert Level 2 if the local government gives its go-ahead for all ages to move.
At the moment, Metro Manila is under Alert Level 4.
“Of course, our main priority remains the health and safety of all. We now have guidelines so we will start if Manila goes to Alert Level 2. We are ready with all sanitary protocols, ”said Evangelista, also president of Barangay 56 in Tondo, Manila.
“But to be able to distribute the equipment, it’s a good start and we are all excited… Mayor Moreno is excited because he knows that many of our young people are ready to join this sporting activity.
Domagoso has said he wants the city’s capital to be on par with the city of Barcelona in Spain and the province of Kashiwazaki in Japan – all considered to the world as the capital of water polo in their countries.
Evangelista said the townspeople will be the main target of this program as they hope to develop future national team athletes for water polo – a sport where the country has won two silver medals at the Games. Southeast Asia, the latest in 2019 here.
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