NCC Aquatics Center hosts swim tryouts


THE New Clark City in Capas will host the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) National Selection Bubble starting on Friday.

A total of 71 swimmers are joining the national tryouts at the world-class Aquatics Center in a bid to qualify for the 15th Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) World Swimming Championships 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in December, and the 19th FINA World Championships 2022 in Fukuoka, Japan in May next year.

The three-day tryouts were originally scheduled for August 28 to 30—as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases—but was postponed due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

Atty. Aristotle Batuhan, Officer-in-Charge of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), said the event not only showcases the world-class facilities in Clark, but also signals the country’s resilience amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a home for Filipino athletes, New Clark City is proud to host this swimming event and help the country’s hopefuls go for gold in international competitions,” Batuhan said. “Through the PSI bubble, our countrymen can see that the country is on the path towards healing, with our athletes serving as icons of determination and strength despite the odds.”

PSI President Lani Velasco said that the event seeks to inspire athletes to continue their efforts despite the pandemic.

“We hope that the event can show to the youth that we can rise again and recover from this pandemic,” Velasco said. “We hope to encourage current swimmers to train even more to reach their dreams.”

The tryouts are hosted by the BCDA, its subsidiary Clark Development Corp. and PSI. Athletes, coaches and staff will be billeted at the Hotel Stotsenberg at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

BCDA, in partnership with CDC, has hosted sports bubbles including the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup last year, Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers in June and the PhilCycling National Trials for Road in July.

Both agencies also managed the pre-Tokyo Olympics training camp of the Israel national swimming team last August at the New Clark City Aquatics Center.

In case a participant tests positive inside the bubble, Hotel Stotsenberg has rooms allocated for isolation. Partner hospitals, namely The Medical City Clark and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Medical Center Clark, will also be on standby to provide medical care.

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