One of the thrusts of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines includes aiding the development of future national team prospects.
Currently, the league has 16 medal events – with 13 included in the Olympic program for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
But recently, calls have been made for the addition of weightlifting and the return of boxing to the UAAP calendar.
League executive director Rebo Saguisag sees no problem in adding weightlifting.
“Hidilyn [Diaz] and I had dinner five years ago after Rio and napagusapan na namin ‘yan. We are very much open since for the league’s standpoint, it is relatively easier to organize,” Saguisag said on UAAP Talk.
The problem, though, is the capabilities of each school to add a new varsity team and open scholarship slots.
“The only challenge is for the member schools now because they will open up a new team and maintain it. Kami sa event lang naman eh,” he continued.
“The UAAP just organizes these events, but for the member schools, [it means] new uniforms, scholarships, coaching, etcetera. So ‘yun ‘yung magiging challenge sa amin, especially now with the challenges of the pandemic and enrollment.”
Currently, Ateneo, University of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas have weightlifting clubs. University of the East, on the other hand, had disbanded their program.
The league added that it remains open to adding boxing but the topic has not been brought up to either the league’s board of managing directors or trustees.
“Boxing naman, we haven’t talked about it. Historically, boxing was part of the UAAP. It’s worth revisiting,” said the councilor from Makati City.
“Yung Olympic events should really have a place in the UAAP because one of our principles is to support the national sports program. We are pretty much open to that.”