As part of the Philippine Sports Commission's (PSC) Technical Mission to Brasilia, Brazil from March 21 to 23, the delegation headed by PSC Chairman Ricardo Garcia conducted a study tour of Brasilia's national stadium also known as the Estadio Mane Garrincha and one of their Centro Olimpico.
"The study tour will allow us to learn from the best practices of Brazil. The concept of designing their stadium to harness clean and renewable energy with the use of solar panels and hydro-energy using rain water is a novel idea. It is something worth considering in our plans to upgrade existing facilities or in building new ones." Chairman Garcia said.
Commenting on their visit to the Centro Olimpico in a depressed and poor neighborhood in Estrutral in the outskirts of Brasilia, Chairman Garcia said, "Part of the PSC's mandate is to harness sports as a mechanism for nation building and as a formative tool for the youth. The Centro is a good model for the PSC that could be applied in the Philippines in support of this mandate."
The Centros are located within local communities and provide not only free use of sporting facilities for children and adults, but also training supervised by qualified coaches, educational courses, limited medical services, uniforms and equipment. In addition to youths and adults in the community, the facilities are also made available to nearby public schools for their physical education and after-school programs.
Promising young athletes are also scouted for entry into Brazil's Olympic program and for more advanced training. However, the main purpose of the Centro is to serve the community, especially the children and youth. The establishment and function of the Centro is in line with Brazil's progressive social welfare policies that recognizes and utilizes sports as a tool for social inclusion. It is an effective means to get children in depressed communities off the streets and keep them away from the dangers of criminality, illegal drugs and gangs.
The PH delegation also visited Brasilia's national stadium, which will be the venue for some of the games of the FIFA Confederation's Cup in 2013 and the FIFA World Cup in 2014. The stadium is still currently under construction and is slated to open soon.
The PSC delegation was given a briefing and tour of the 70,000-seat, state-of-the-art and eco-friendly stadium. The stadium has solar panels as part of its roofing and the drainage system taps rain water for hydro energy to provide for the energy needs of the stadium and even contribute to the city's power grid.
In addition to the study tour, the PSC delegation concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Cooperation between the PSC and Brazil's Ministry of Sport. A meeting was also held by both delegations to discuss possible technical cooperation initiatives between the two countries.
Accompanying Chairman Garcia in the Philippine delegation are PSC Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Eva Betita, Director Gines Gallaga of the Department of Foreign Affairs' South America Division and Third Secretary Carlyn Monastrial of the Philippine Embassy in Brasilia. After Brazil, the PSC Technical Mission proceeded to Buenos Aires, Argentina. END