Taal ashfall hampers training of Pinoy windsurfers, skateboarders

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2020 06:26 PM

PSC looking for training alternatives for national athletes

A member of the MMDA K9 Corps takes a break after searching for surviving animals at the Taal Volcano Island on January 14, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has maintained its order on all national athletes to suspend outdoor training 4 days after Mt. Taal spewed ash that blanketed Batangas and nearby provinces.

“We have been coordinating with the NSAs to look for training alternatives," PSC senior executive assistant Marc Edward Velasco said.

"But then, PSC would always work on the safe side. We will be very prudent and vigilant on the health of the athletes.”

Good health is premium for the athletes' performance which is why the PSC was forced to suspend all outdoor training and physical activities of national athletes.

“We cannot risk the health of our national athletes even after the ashfall has lessened. We try to see for another two days if we can resume the outdoor training,” added Velasco.

Those who have been affected by the recent Taal eruption are the windsurfing and skateboard teams, both based in Batangas.

The Pinoy windsurfers are training in Mabini, Batangas which has been put under Alert Level 4 since Sunday.

“We are now considering some alternatives like moving to Subic Bay Zambales or somewhere in Northern Luzon,” Philippine Windsurfing Association, Inc. president Manny Cabili said.

The newly-constructed 3-hectare skate park in Tagaytay City was covered with thick layer of ashes, leaving it unusable for training or competition. 

“Nakakalungkot po kasi ang daming naapektuhan kasama na nga po ung skate park,” said the 22-year-old national skateboard athlete Mark Feliciano who is now training in Hong Kong.

“Sa ngayon po nagpapatulong kami sa mga kapwa namin skaters na linisin 'yung skate park,” he said.

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