Filipinos are to have another platform to showcase world-renowned resiliency and athleticism in the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) to be hosted by the Philippines from November 30 to December 11, 2019, in Subic, Zambales.
Among the 56 sports, by far the most number of approved sports for competition in the SEAG history, Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is slated to make its debut. This functional sport involves a lot of running, swimming, and climbing walls, and will feature six events—two each for 100 meters with 10 obstacles; 400 meters with 12 obstacles; and 5-kilometer with 20 obstacles.
Six gold medals are up for grabs, and the Philippines’ national training pool—composed of a gender-balanced team of 10 men and 10 women—is determined in their undertaking to win them all.
Pretty Huge Preparation
Considered as Asia’s largest indoor obstacle course training facility, Pretty Huge Obstacles (PHO) is set to start operating next month, which will serve as the official cross-training venue of the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF) athletes.
Situated at 2/F Civic Center, SM Aura Premier, BGC, Taguig, PHO boasts of state-of-the-art obstacles configurable into over 100 flexible combinations. Guided by licensed and accredited personnel, programs include performance enhancement, recovery, physical therapy rehabilitation, and newbie profiling.
Atty. Al Agra, president of POSF, humbly brags about the promising future that awaits the participating athletes. “We dream of building not just better athletes, but better humans. With this facility, and with your support, we are ready to get better,” he says.
In coordination with other involved parties, executives of the World OCR and the PHO, some members of the training pool have also been gearing up to train at the Olympic Training Center, in Colorado, USA, and level with the top OCR racers of the world.
Go for Gold
As the host country to organize the biennial regional multi-sport event, the pressure is on for team Philippines. But as resolute as they are, the Filipino athletes never flinched under the bulk load of expectations. Ambitiously, they aspire to be laurelled with nothing but gold—all six golds for that matter.
Looking back, it was year 2005 when the country bagged the overall championship in SEAG. Since then, however, Philippines’ performance went down hill, with the worst record last year that saw a sixth place finish.
But we can only get better, and OCR athletes are key figures to bring back the glory days.
“We started small in 2017, now we are pretty huge. We all used to be part of a dream, that vision is now a reality. But the dreaming and work doesn’t end there. We dream of gold. We dream of being part of the Asian Games, and hopefully, the Olympic Games,” Atty. Agra says modestly.
The same energy emanates from Sarah Jane Lim-Narvasa, a member of the training pool and PHO’s youth program coordinator. “The community is getting bigger. We’re so excited to train, to come back better than ever, and kill it in the SEA Games,” she says.
To earn a spot in the national team, members of the training pool will have to go through four qualifying events, to take place months before the SEAG.
Other personalities who graced the event were PHO Chief Financial Officer Mike Yung, Chief Operating Officer Ritsuo Arao, Chief Strategic Officer Charz Kelso, Brand Ambassador Noel Agra, Wolrd OCR President Ian Adamson, and Philippine Olympic Committee President Ricky Vargas.
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