Full sports program set to return by August or September – SDO
Originally published from HF Vol.36 Issue 3
After a two-year hiatus of athletic leagues and activities on campus, a “full sports program” is expected to return by August to September 2022, according to newly-appointed Sports Development Office (SDO) Coordinator Gerardo Sergio III. This means athletes can expect the comeback of onsite training and leagues, which have been suspended since the years-long lockdown brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In an interview with The HERALDO FILIPINO, Sergio said the SDO is eyeing to resume face-to-face training for athletes under full capacity once the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approves the University’s proposal for resumption of physical practice. When asked which sports will be prioritized when face-to-face training returns, he said all athletes from different sports programs will be able to train onsite under 100 percent capacity.
“As long as we will be allowed by CHED, back to normal tayo,” the SDO Coordinator noted.
Sergio also shared that SDO will look into joining local leagues once they resume physical training for athletes. This is part of the office’s five-year sports development effort, which outlines the roadmap plan of DLSU-D when it comes to University sports.
Under this program, rebuilding the University’s presence in local competitions will be placed as the utmost priority of the new SDO administration, along with its gradual plan to rejoin national and international competitions. In the same interview, Sergio disclosed that the CHED had invited DLSU-D for a beach volleyball league during the current academic year (AY), but declined due to unavailability of players.
Revival of recruitment program, scholarship benefits
Although recruiting new breed of athletes is part of SDO’s five-year development project, there is still no definite plan on reviving the University’s recruitment program next AY, according to Sergio. He said the University will still have to prioritize its displaced athletes who have been inactive in the sports scene for two years since the pandemic struck.
“Ang priority natin ngayon is yung mga displaced athletes, ‘yung mga hindi pa nakakapagtapos na athletes […] once meron pang kaunting space with the budget, we can recruit more athletes to help our school’s program,” he said.
Sergio also added that athletes may expect to regain their full benefits once training returns to normal conditions. In HF’s interview with Office of the Student Services (OSS) Dean Domingo Reblora Jr. in January, he stated that athletes are now converted into student-assistant status who may get up to 50 percent of scholarship grant should they pass the requirements of the University’s scholarship office.
Meanwhile, Sergio affirmed Reblora’s previous statements to revive the collection of athletic fees among students by AY 2022-2023, which has been temporarily suspended since the halt of athletic leagues. SDO is eyeing to charge an estimate of P1,000 fee per student, slightly lower than the P1,200 athletic fee collected in pre-pandemic years.
“Actually iyon talaga ‘yung request namin – to collect again athletic fees at least sa mga students to sustain our sports program,” he mentioned in the interview.
Plans on rehiring coaches
With the return of onsite training finally underway, Sergio said ‘majority’ of displaced coaches of the University will also be rehired when conditions get back to normal.
“Actually ang priority ko ‘yung mga former coaches natin, sila talaga ‘yung priority. Ine-evaluate ko rin ‘yung mga naging accomplishments nila in the last five years noong nawala ako doon sa office [..] I think majority ng mga coaches na meron tayo before the pandemic will still be our coaches pero may mga kaunting changes,” Sergio noted.
DLSU-D coaches have been relieved from their posts in 2020 as the sports scene suffered major drawbacks when the pandemic hit. Despite this, some coaches continued to train the school’s athletes during the first few months of lockdown, as per Reblora in a previous interview.