LINGAYEN–The planned establishment of the Pangasinan Sports Academy (PSA) will finally come to fruition this year in a bid to promote athletic excellence among Pangasinenses.
In a talk to newsmen on Monday, Gov. Amado Espino III said the selection of potential athletes from the grassroots level has already started as he promised collegiate scholarships to all those who will be selected in the athletic pool.
He added that notable coaches with track records in different sports disciplines are also already being assembled.
The academy, he said, will focus on developing athletes’ skills and prowess chiefly in athletics, swimming, cycling, chess, basketball, volleyball, football and others.
“We will continue to search for talents among the young who can be developed and be considered to be part of the athletes’ pool,” Espino told newsmen.
The athletes to be chosen and the coaches will be quartered at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) which was renovated and expanded by the past administration of his father and namesake former governor and now Fifth District Congressman Amado Espino Jr.
The establishment of a Pangasinan Sports Academy was initially the vision of the former governor when he initiated the renovation of the NRSCC that was built in 1995 as venue of the Palarong Pambansa and in 2012 when the national games was brought back to the province.
The PSA athletes will be given stipends as well as scholarships while undergoing training under different topnotch coaches.
The provincial government is currently holding the first inter-town basketball tournament which as already entered its quarterfinal with the finals slated sometime in late April in time for the celebration of the Pista’y Dayat (Sea Festival).
Espino considers this tournament as also a way of promoting visits by athletes to different towns to help boost the local economy.
He said after the finals, a provincial team will be formed from among the outstanding cagers that will be sent to Manila to compete with other top cage teams in the country.
Aside from basketball, the province is also promoting chess through its holding of the regular chess clinics and provincial chess tournaments. (Leonardo Micua)