by: Amelita “Ming” Ramos
First, I would like to congratulate BX Magazine for this worthy publication project.
Over the years of my being president of the Philippine Badminton Association, badminton has grown and developed into becoming the most played and loved by Filipinos of all walks of life. However, my vision is not merely to popularize it in the country because I believe that it is one where Filipinos can truly excel and become world-class someday. Thus, I’ll continue to work hard to make this vision a reality. In fact, today, badminton is considered not just as a social sport but one that has reached another level – way beyond where it was during the previous decades.
A manifestation of this is the emergence of very young players with outstanding skills as seen during the Ming Ramos Youth Camp 2008 sponsored by Astec last September 26-27 and October 4-5. I’m truly happy to have seen children as young as 10 years old showcase their exceptional talents, hitting the shuttlecock just like grizzled veterans. Moreover, competitive tournaments with high cash prizes are also held not only in Manila but also in major cities in the provinces. Schools and universities all over the country are now doing their best to raise their teams competitiveness for their respective athletic association meets. And many badminton aficionado parents have shown their unqualified support by sending their children to foreign training centers to further hone their craft.
The association has likewise taken a big move to strengthen the national team, in line with the policy of the Philippine Sports Commission to rationalize the policies for national athletes and coaches, which resulted in the reduction of the number of national players to 50 percent – from 20 to 10. But we appealed to PSC to increase the number of players of the national team to 16.
Furthermore, to select the best young players who can be trained to become world-class athletes, we conducted a national team selection last August 8-10 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Badminton Hall. Current members of the national team and the best players from different clubs in Metro Manila and the provinces were invited to participate. The selection was done in a round-robin system with qualifying and final rounds to determine the top three in both the men’s and women’s singles and the top two in the men’s and women’s doubles.
A total of 83 players took part: 29 in men’s singles, 14 in women’s singles, 12 in men’s doubles and 8 in women’s doubles. The aspirants gave their best and great matches were witnessed; In the end, the best and the strongest emerged.
Those who qualified to national men’s team were: Antonio Benjamin Gadi, Ralph Ian Mendez and Jobett Hereli Co in singles; Andrei Babad, Mark Alvin Natividad, Roy Callanta and Raphael Sanchez in doubles; plus Kennevic Asuncion who completed the team.
The national women’s team now consists of Karyn Cecilia Velez, Malvinne Ann Venice Alcala and Gelita Castilo in singles; and Racquel Guerrero, Rachel Guerrero, Chona Medina and Cha Decatoria in doubles and Kennie Asuncion for the Mixed Doubles.
We also hired a foreign coach to assist us in making our dream reachable. With the expertise and experience of coach Indra Setiawan, a certified coach of the Indonesia Badminton Association who also has had a coaching stint in Japan, we hope to make our players competitive at the world-class standard.
We therefore encourage the players to work hard and give their best to achieve our goal. The association, with the help of the Philippine Sports Commission, will use all its resources to support the team.
Our objective won’t be possible without the support of our partners – the clubs, the players, the coaches, the technical officials, the tournament organizers, the suppliers, the parents and the badminton fans. Let us work altogether and set aside our differences and step forward towards achieving our goal of bringing our sport to greater heights.
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